Mrs. Grieg’s Cuddy: Lemon Meringue Pie

Wi’ the coomin’ in o’ summer, ’tis time to prepare for haymakers. Besides Glenlochie’s own men, neighbors and their helpers gather from one farm to another till a’ have their crop made. The girls and women likewise help the hoosekeepers prepare enough hearty food for hardworking men. Oft I’m askit to make the pies.

When The Drummond’s mother came from downriver to Glenlochie as a bride, she brought wi’ her some o’ her own mother’s receipts. They’re more like the low country gentry’s than our own auld Scots dishes, nor were the ingredients always easy to come by. Some had foreign names aboot them, brought from Europe, she tellit me. One I like to make in summer–’tis a fresh taste–is

LEMON MERINGUE PIE

Ye may have a favorite receipt o’ your own for the crust. This auld Scots one is mine. The more men ye’re feeding, the more pie crust shells ye maun make. For haymakers, count one pie for each four men.

Sift 2 cups o’ fine flour and 1 teaspoon o’ salt into a bowl. Rub in (or cut in wi’ twa knives) 1/3 cup cold lard and 1/3 cup cold sweet butter. Sprinkle 5 or 6 tablespoons o’ ice cold water direct from the spring house o’er all. Mix well wi’ a fork till it a’ sticks together. Press into a ball wi’ your hands.

Divide into halves. Roll each half into a circle on a floured board.

Line twa’ pie dishes wi’ the circles. Trim and crimp the edges. Prick each crust wi’ a fork and weight it down wi’ some dry beans or rice on greased paper, so the bottom does no’ form bubbles. Bake in a hot oven (aboot 400 degrees) till crimped edges are barely light brown. Wi’ care, remove paper and beans. Set crusts aside to be filled.

Lemons nor cornstarch were no’ easy to come by when I made the first pie, but now the railroad brings them to only a day’s journey from Abercairn.

To fill one pie, mix 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup cornstarch in a middling size pan. Add 1 1/2 cups cold water and mix till smooth. Boil and stir constantly until liquid thickens, aboot one minute. Remove from stove.

Stir into the pan the grated rind o’ one lemon (aboot 1 teaspoon) and 1 tablespoon o’ butter. Separate three eggs. Put the yolks in the pan and the whites in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup o’ lemon juice to the pan. Mix well, and pour into the pie crust.

The topping is meringue–one o’ the European dainties. Beat the three egg whites till they’re foam, and beat in 1/3 cup o’ sugar. Spread this over the top of the pie and bake in a medium oven (about 325 degrees) for 10 to 15 minutes, till meringue is lightly browned

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