Prepare the crust: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and fit into the 9-inch pie pan. Trim the crust overhang to 1 inch and crimp the edges decoratively. Prick the bottom of the crust 6 or 7 times with a fork, then place the crust in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, leaving the oven on. Remove the dried beans or pie weights and parchment paper from the crust, and return it to the oven. Bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cool completely before filling.
Prepare the filling: Combine the water, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium-size saucepan. Whisk until fully blended and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisking constantly, cook for 3 minutes. Turn the heat to low. Remove 1⁄2 cup of the cooked mixture and pour it slowly over the egg yolks in a small bowl, whisking constantly until well combined. It’s essential that you take your time when adding the cooked mixture to the eggs, otherwise they’ll curdle. Pour it in a gentle, steady stream, whisking vigorously the entire time.
Return the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan on the stove. Whisk in the lemon juice, Limoncello di Fiorito, lemon zest, and butter. Beat until the butter is melted and the mixture is fully combined. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the filling into the pre-baked crust.
Prepare the meringue: Using an electric mixer or a whisk, beat the egg whites with the vanilla and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form.
Assemble the pie: Pile the meringue over the filling, mounding it in the center and covering the filling completely. Make sure you touch the edges of the crust all around, to prevent the meringue from shrinking. Using the lowest broiler setting of your oven, evenly brown the meringue topping for about 1 minute. Or, if you have one, use a handheld culinary blowtorch. Place the pie in the refrigerator and keep chilled until ready to serve.
Basic Pie Dough: The secret is to work with very cold butter. Keep all of the butter in the freezer, transferring it to the refrigerator overnight or several hours before intending to make pie dough. Work quickly, with cold hands on a cool work surface, and you’ll end up with a crust that’s as flaky as it is scrumptious. – 2 1⁄2 cups of all-purpose flour – 1 3⁄4 teaspoons of sea salt – 1 cup of unsalted butter, chilled and diced – 3⁄4 cup of ice water Mix the flour and salt together in a medium-large bowl. Using a pastry blender or two forks, incorporate the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal (you should still have some rather large bits of butter when you’re done). Slowly drizzle in the ice water. Stir with a large spoon until the dough begins to clump. Transfer the dough onto a floured work surface and, using your hands, fold it into itself until all of the flour is incorporated into the fats. The dough should come together easily but should not feel overly sticky. Divide the dough in half, shape it into two balls, and pat each ball into a 1⁄2-inch thick disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup of cornstarch
- 1⁄4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup of lemon juice
- 1/3 cup of limoncello di Fiorito
- Grated zest of two lemons
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, diced
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
- 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar