Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Filling:

5 egg yolks (save the whites)
1/3 plus 1 Tbsp. cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 9-inch pre-baked pie shell

5 egg whites
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk egg yolks. Set aside.

In the top pan of a double boiler, mix cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Turn heat to medium high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. When mixture begins to look clear instead of cloudy, five to 7 minutes, remove from heat. Add some of mixture to egg yolks, a half teaspoon at first, whisking immediately to blend so the egg doesn't congeal. Add a Tbsp. next, and another and another until you have incorporated 1/3 of the cornstarch mixture into the egg yolks. Take this egg yolk mixture and whisk it into the remaining cornstarch mixture in the top of the double boiler. Whisk well.

Turn heat to low and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest until well blended. Pour into pie shell and top with meringue while filling is still hot.

For the meringue, whip egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until you have soft peaks. Very gradually add sugar and vanilla and whip until you have stiff peaks. Gently spread on pie, making sure the meringue reaches the edges of the filling so the filling is completely covered. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes minutes or until meringue peaks are browned.