|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 33g||42%|
|Saturated Fat 16g||80%|
|Total Carbohydrate 104g||38%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||5%|
|Total Sugars 91g|
|Vitamin C 7mg||34%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This luscious pie is the perfect combination of a crumbly and buttery crust, a silky and tart filling, and an unctuous meringue top. Our recipe for the crust includes walnuts, which give a great consistency to the base, but also flavor and crunch. The short preparation time and quick bake in the oven make this a great dessert to make in the morning and put in the refrigerator until dinner time. The more time it gets to chill, the easier it'll be to slice and savor, as the firmer texture will make it easier to eat.
Perfect for the holidays or family celebrations, this pie, despite its look, is very easy to make and only requires a little attention to detail. The contrast between the tanginess of the lemon juice and sweetness of the condensed milk in the filling make this an all-time favorite, perfect also for tea time, or for a decadent coffee break in the middle of your afternoon.
If you want to split your preparation in two, go ahead and make the pie crust up to two days ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator. And if you always want to be ready to fill up a graham cracker pie crust, make more crusts and freeze them for up to three months; simply thaw before using. For this recipe, you'll need a 10-inch deep pie pan, condensed and not evaporated milk, and a lot of patience, as it will be difficult to wait until it's time for dessert.
If you're concerned over the short cooking time for the raw eggs in this pie, opt for using pasteurized eggs.
“A perfect pie to me has a crunchy, buttery crust and this recipe is a great example of it. The combination of graham cracker and walnut is heavenly and the filling is tangy and not too sweet. Make sure that you chill the pie for long enough so it wont be runny and use a hot knife for a clean slice.” —Tara Omidvar
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
4 large eggs, separated
2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375 F.
In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and walnuts. Mix until the crumbs are moistened and the consistency is wet and sandy.
Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch pie pan.
Bake the crust until it is set and light golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Keep the oven on.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the condensed milk, and lemon juice. Pour into the cooled pie crust and refrigerate.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks form.
Gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved by rubbing a bit of the mixture between your fingers. If it's smooth and not gritty, the meringue is done.
Spoon the meringue on top of the lemon filling. Spread evenly over the pie, making sure to seal the meringue to the edge of the crust to avoid shrinking in the oven.
Use a spoon to make dips and swirls in the meringue.
Bake until the meringue is golden in places, 10 to 15 minutes. If you aren't seeing enough color, broil the pie for 1 or 2 minutes, but watch it carefully as it can burn fast. Chill for 4 to 6 hours before serving.
Raw Egg Warning
Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.
Glass Bakeware Warning
Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.
Why Won't My Egg Whites Make Stiff Peaks?
Because pasteurized eggs go through a heating process that kills potentially harmful bacteria, the white becomes more "stable" in its form, preventing the stiff peaks from coming to life when whipping the whites to make a meringue.
A meringue of unpasteurized egg whites is better in texture—even if not the best for your health, as it poses a risk for food-borne illness, although small. So if you are using pasteurized eggs, chances are your meringue isn't shaping up to what you want.
Our recipe calls for cream of tartar to help the whites to loosen up and create the peaks. But you can add also a teaspoon of lemon juice once the egg whites are getting foamy, approximately one minute after you've started to whip the whites. If the amount we use still doesn't yield good peaks, try adding another 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar.
If you choose to use unpasteurized eggs for your meringue, be mindful it can threaten the well-being of the at-risk population, like pregnant women or small children.