TRB to the Rescue: Lemon Meringue Pudding?

Posted by & filed under cornstarch, egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon meringue pie, lemon peel, pudding, TRB to the Rescue.

“Dear Rescue Baker,

I have twice attempted to make Lemon Meringue Pie following an Alton Brown recipe and it never sets up right. I get lemon pudding every time. Do you have any tips?

Thanks,
Ashley”
Well, Ashley, it certainly sounds like you need some help. As a Lemon Meringue pie lover, TRB knows that the filling definitely shouldn’t resemble runny pudding.

After reviewing the recipe, it occurred to TRB that a few possible missteps could be made here. (Besides, Alton is usually super precise about his recipes, so we’re guessing that it is most likely one of the following considerations, and not the recipe itself).
  • Have you added the proper amount of cornstarch? In this type of filling, the cornstarch — along with the eggs — will serve as thickening agents. So, if you skimp on or mis-measure this ingredient, the texture of your filling is not likely to turn out quite right.
  • Are you stirring the mixture constantly over medium to low heat? Admittedly, TRB is not a custard / pudding expert and often winds up with scrambled eggs when she attempts to make such delicate desserts, but one thing she has learned over the years is that in order for a creamy filling to thicken, you need to keep stirring!
  • Are you using a whisk to add the egg yolks? Normally, TRB would say that a regular spoon should work just fine, but in this case, the whisk is necessary to ensure that the egg yolks are properly incorporated in order to thicken the mixture.
If all else fails, how about trying a new recipe? TRB took a quick look online and found this one for you:


(This Betty Crocker recipe calls for a little bit more cornstarch and sugar, but one less egg yolk, so it may yield just the thickness you are looking for…)

Let us know how it turns out, Ashley!

Did you find this tip helpful? Post a comment.

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