Gluten Free Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe
One of my earliest food memories is of lemon meringue pie. It was the beginning of a life-long love affair!
For years I called it Lemon Maria Pie; the pie was introduced to me by a woman who worked for us in the Philippines named – you guessed it – Maria. I thought she had invented the recipe and I thought she was a genius. I now know Maria most likely did not invent lemon meringue pie but I am still convinced she is a genius.
To this day, lemon meringue pie is one of my favorite desserts. I just eat it a little differently sometimes. Instead of a pie crust filled with lemon curd and topped with meringue, I make the pie crust out of meringue and fill it with lemon curd – upside down lemon meringue pie. I came up with this method before I had mastered making gluten free pie crust, but I still love it!
There are no fancy ingredients in this naturally gluten free dessert; just eggs (preferably pastured, organic, cage free eggs – I use Nature’s Yoke eggs), sugar (I like to use organic sugar these days), lemons (REAL lemons – don’t even think about using bottled lemon juice!) and a few pantry staples.
It takes a little time and thought to make this pie, you need to let the lemon filling cool for a couple hours and the pie crust is be st eaten the same day as it is prepared, but it is easy work and the results are SO WORTH IT!
Winter days can be dark, cold and dreary. I can’t think of a better way to let a little sunshine in than with this lovely Gluten Free Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie!
- 4 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 1½ cups water
- 1⅓ cups sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 meringue pie crust – recipe follows
- Finely sliced lemon slices – optional garnish
Put eggs in a medium bowl and whisk well.
In a medium saucepan, whisk to combine the cornstarch, water, 1 ⅓ cups sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add about ¼ of the hot mixture to the egg yolks. Whisk well. Add the rest of the mixture to the eggs gradually, whisking well. When all the hot mixture is added to the egg yolks, pour the mixture back into the saucepan, turn the heat to low and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly. The mixture should be thick. Take mixture off the heat and gently stir in the cold butter, lemon juice and lemon zest.
Put mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap right on the surface of the lemon mixture. Refrigerate until cold – about 2 hours.
Whip heavy cream with one teaspoon sugar until stiff peaks form but do not over mix.
Just prior to serving, pour the lemon mixture into the meringue pie crust. Top with whipped cream. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.
- 2 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Spray a 9 inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very stiff and glossy. Rub a little of the mixture between your thumb and forefinger and see if the mixture feels gritty, if so continue to beat until smooth, this will mean the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and mix in well.
Spread mixture into the prepared pan forming a shell by spreading the mixture up the sides of the pie plate. Bake for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue crust in the oven for another hour. Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely.
This crust is best used the day it is baked as humidity will soften the crust. It is also preferable to fill the crust just prior to serving.
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