The perfect spring time dessert
To make the pie crust:
Combine the flour and crisco (or firm coconut oil) in a large mixing bowl and mix until a clumpy dough begins to form. Add in a dash of salt and the baking powder and stir together.
Make a hole in the center and pour in the egg, apple cider vinegar and 3 tablespoons. Whisk outward to begin mixing the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Once that is mixed in well, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of cold water and mix until a ball of dough is formed and stays together. Remove from bowl and press together with hands as needed.
Divide the dough into 4 sections. Using a rolling pin, roll out one section of dough over a floured surface just larger than your pie dish. fold in half, lay over pie dish and unfold to cover. Press the bottom down and pinch the sides up around the entire pie dish. Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom and sides and the back of the fork to press down the pinched edges. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (if broiling the meringue) or set aside (if baking the meringue) *Leftover crust can be flattened on parchment paper, wrapped up and stored in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.
To make the lemon filling:
Measure out all ingredients first. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside. Whisk the water, sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice and lemon zest together in a saucepan over medium heat. Watch for the mixture to begin thickening and bubbling (about 5-7 minutes) Once thickened, whisk again and reduce heat to low.
Slowly pour a few spoonfuls of warm lemon mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Then add the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan while whisking constantly. Turn heat back to medium. Cook until the mixture is thick and big bubbles begin forming. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in butter, if using. Pour filling into the pie dish and set aside for just a minute while you make the meringue.
To make the classic meringue:
Using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together on medium speed for 1 minute, then increase to high speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and salt, then continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue on top of filling covering all the way to the edges. (I only used half of the recipe; the amount of meringue is totally by preference) Use a spatula or back of a spoon to create decorative peaks.
To finish the pie:
If you baked the pie crust earlier, place the pie under the broiler and watch closely for the meringue to begin to brown. It will only need to be under the broiler for 2-4 minutes.
If you did not bake the pie crust earlier, place the pie in a 350 degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Watch closely towards the end to avoid too much browning or burning the meringue.
Once fully baked, remove the pie from the oven and let it cool to room temperature while sitting on a wire rack. Then transfer to the fridge for at least 4 hours to set. Keep covered in the refrigerator and enjoy within 1-3 days.