Healing Kitchen

Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie, who can resist it? With its billowy mounds of lightly browned meringue and its sweet/tart, creamy filling, it's been an American favorite for years. Unfortunately, as you might have guessed, it brings with it lots of fat, 91 mg of cholesterol and close to 400 calories. In our updated version, we've snuck some whole-wheat flour in the crust, substituted fat-free yogurt and Neufchatel cream cheese for some of the shortening and we've reduced the butter in the filling by two-thirds. Now you can have your pie and eat it too.

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The Ingredients

    Pie Dough:
     2/3 cup all-purpose flour  1/3 cup whole-wheat flour  2 tablespoons granulated sugar  1/4 teaspoon salt  3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening  3 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)  1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt

     1-1/3 cups granulated sugar 1/3 cup cornstarch  1/4 teaspoon salt  1 teaspoon grated lemon zest  1-3/4 cups water  2 whole large eggs, lightly beaten  1/2 cup lemon juice  2 teaspoons unsalted butter  3 large egg whites  1/4 teaspoon cream or tartar
1 Pie Dough: In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar, and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the shortening and cream cheese until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the yogurt until just moistened. Shape the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

2 Preheat the oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 13-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold the edges over to form a high edge and with your fingers crimp the edges. 3 Line the pie shell with foil and pour pie weights or dried beans into the foil. Bake 15 minutes or until just set. Remove the weights and foil and bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

4 Filling: Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, salt, and lemon zest. Add the water, stirring until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

5 In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, lemon juice, and butter. Stirring constantly, gradually add the sugar mixture. Pour into the pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the filling is just beginning to set.

6 Meanwhile, in another medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar until the whites are stiff and shiny. Pile the meringue lightly onto the pie, spreading it to the edge. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly browned and set. Refrigerate until chilled. Makes 8 slices

Date Published: 08/28/2002
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