Especially Lemon Meringue Pie. I can still see my mother stirring and cooking real lemon meringue pie filling. Nothing store bought. And the scent of real lemon juice, squeezed and squashed out of real lemons permeating the kitchen. There was nothing like it. So here's her recipe. The one HER mother from Scotland used to make. The recipe is from the farm years in Bethune, when her family was growing up in the 1920's, and in the 30's and 40's. Guaranteed to shoo away those January blahs....
First you have to make pastry. You can substitute and use premade, but where's the fun in that? So here's her early pastry. NO lard . Just margarine. Or you can use butter.
BEST MARGARINE PASTRY for 2 crust pie (When divided just freeze the second disc for later use)
1/3 cup cold cold cold water
½ pound margarine ( 1 cup)
2 cups flour
Cut in margarine into flour, till crumbly. Add water little by little. May need a bit more to make it all come together. Makes enough for two pie shells. Wrap one disc for later. Very elastic. Smooth, and tastes buttery and flaky.Roll dough 1/8 inch thick, fold in half and lift into piepan. Fit into pan. Prick bottom with fork.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-30 minutes till browned slightly. Let cool.
LEMON FILLING: 1/4 cup corn starch, pinch salt, 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups boiling water, 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, add 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind, 2 egg yolks, 2 tablespoon butter.
Stir slowly into BEATEN egg yolks. Keep egg whites separate for meringue. and cook 1 minute longer.
It is probably best to do it over a double boiler so nothing BURNS. Burned bits means you have to start over again.
Add butter at the last moment.
Cool. Pour into cooled , baked pie shell. My mother would make this like her mother. No lemon extract additions or colouring. It would be clear and pale,for the most part. SOme days she would add colouring. But not many.
Top with meringue that you can whip up at this point.
MERINGUE (double this to make a piled up topping)
2 egg whites, 4 tablespoons sugar, pinch salt, 1/2 tsp vanilla or 1/4 tsp lemon extract
Beat egg whites till stiff, add sugar gradually and continue beating till mixture is fine grained and will hold its shape. .
Add salt and vanilla and add to top of pie.
Spread meringue evenly over pie surface. Or pipe with pastry bag , or pile up with spoon.
BAKE in 325 oven till meringue is browned.
Be sure to watch so it does not burn. About 12 to 18 minutes.