Lemon Meringue Pie

This is the story of a great neighbor. With a lemon tree. Who brings you so many lemons you don't know what to do, and lemonade is NOT on the menu. But looking at them, you start to think. And that's when things get dangerous.

Lemon meringue. Oh yum. I don't know how to make it. Never did. And I have to make it low carb. Ugh.

But it's that can do spirit in me that screamed... nah. I'm a procrastinator. It was my inner foodie screaming. So I obeyed.


Pie Crust:
1 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon swerve
4 oz. cream cheese

Lemon Filling:
6 eggs, separated (use only the yolks for filling and reserve whites)
1 cup swerve
1/2 cup Cream
1/3 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1 or 2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 Tablespoon Butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water

1 packet unflavored gelatin

1/4 Cup Swerve
6 Egg Whites
1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Prepare the crust first.
Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9" pan. Cream the butter and cream cheese, then add the dry ingredients and blend well. Mash into 9" pie dish until evenly spread. Don't hurry or you'll have an uneven crust. If the batter sticks to the spatula, spread a little oil on the spatula to keep it from doing so.
Bake 10 minutes at 350 and let cool. If you are wondering about the cream cheese, I put cream cheese in almost everything made with almond flour. Almond Flour is funny stuff. It doesn't bind. So unless you are using eggs, you need something to hold it all together. And the Cream Cheese adds that original crust flavor. 

Now. This recipe should never be made without fresh squeezed lemon juice. Do not substitute lemon jello or the lemon juice in a bottle. And do not make stupid errors, as I did. First. Zest the lemon BEFORE squeezing for juice. Otherwise, you can't zest it. So you end up zesting perfectly good lemons. 

Anyway, while your pie crust cools, throw all the filling ingredients into a saucepan and whisk together until the egg yolks are well blended in. Now, slowly heat the mixture on low... I SAID LOW... heat... and constantly stir until the mixture begins to thicken and the top begins to separate a little, blanketing the mixture. About 20 minutes if you're stove's inconsistent like mine. Could be 10 if it's a good one. This is the only "cooking" your eggs will get, so if you are nervous about it, use pasteurized eggs. If you're pretty good at tempering eggs, don't worry about it.

Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool, then place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or so.

When it's time to make the pie... an hour later... start by making the meringue.

Easy. Beat the set aside egg whites with 1/4 cup Swerve and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar. Once the egg whites are firm and stiff peaks are forming, you're ready.

Fill the pie crust with your chilled filling, and top with the meringue. Place in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 325 and finish off for another 10 minutes. 

Remove from oven and cool. Refrigerate overnight, or at least a good 3 hours and you've got yourself a really good pie. Really. It will be slightly different texture than the cornstarch filling you may be used to, but so much healthier who cares. The taste is fabulous. 

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