August 15th is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day, celebrating one of America’s favorite pies.
But first: What are the top 10 pies in America, based on consumption? No one has done that survey in a truly scientific way.
Mrs. Smith’s released a survey of their top 10 based on sales, but it only included frozen pies in the flavors made by Mrs. Smith.
One thing we do know: Look at every list of the top pies in the country and you’ll find these nine (in alphabetical order):
1. Apple Pie
Some of our favorites, such as Black Bottom Pie, Grasshopper Pie and Tarte Tatin (a French upside-down pie with caramelized apples) aren’t even on the Top 20 list of sweet pies.
Lemon-flavored custards, puddings, and pies date to Middle Ages, which concluded in the 15th Century. But meringue was not perfected until the 17th century.
The modern lemon meringue pie is a 19th-century recipe, attributed to Alexander Frehse, a Swiss baker from Romandy, the French-speaking part(s) of Switzerland.
It combines a lemon custard single crust pie with meringue, the fluffy topping made from egg whites and sugar, baked on top. Here’s the classic lemon meringue pie recipe.
Prep time is 30 minutes, and cook time is 20 minutes.
Ingredients For 8 Servings
*Take a look at this Egg & Lemon Juice Pie Crust from IncredibleEgg.org.
 One of America’s favorite pies. The classic recipe below is from the American Egg Board, IncredibleEgg.org.
 Do organic eggs taste better? Frankly, yes; although freshness also enters the equation (photo courtesy BJs).
1. PLACE the oven rack in the top third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 325°F. Prepare the filling: Mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large, heavy saucepan. Gradually stir in the water and lemon juice until smooth. Add the egg yolks; stir until blended, and add the butter.
2. COOK over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon peel.
3. IMMEDIATELY MAKE the meringue. Dissolve the cornstarch in cold water in a one-cup glass measure. Microwave on High for 30 seconds; stir. Microwave until the mixture boils, 15 to 30 seconds more. Remove and cover.
4. BEAT the egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixer bowl with the whisk attachment on high speed, until foamy. Beating constantly, add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition until the sugar is dissolved before adding the next.
5. CONTINUE beating until the whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks. Beating constantly, add the cornstarch paste, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. Beat in the vanilla.
6. POUR the hot filling into the pie crust. Quickly spread the meringue evenly over the filling, starting at the edge of the crust. The meringue should overlap the rim of the crust. Swirl with the back of a spoon to provide waves.
7. BAKE in the upper third of a 325°F oven until the meringue is lightly browned, 16 to 18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes to 1 hour; then refrigerate until serving. Garnish as desired.