Mrs. Lee Roy Ellroth, Belleville, Kansas, is seeking the Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe that was printed on the Argo Corn Starch box. She says it was foolproof.
Our readers are quite familiar with this recipe, as the folder is now about an inch thick. Maggie Edwards, Cornish Flat, New Hampshire, enlisted the help of her friend Forrest Cole of Lebanon, New Hampshire, to find the recipe online. Others sent photocopies of the recipe on the box, and a few cut the recipe from the box and sent that.
Other readers found the recipe in the cookbook, Best Recipes from the Backs of Boxes, Bottles, Cans and Jars by Ceil Dyer, with this introduction: “The century was young, the horseless carriage was making a tentative appearance, and ladies’ skirts still swept the ground in the early 1900s when this classic recipe was printed on the Argo Corn Starch package.”
Alice Cook, Eureka, Kansas, was a June bride in 1949 when she learned to make the pie on a gas stove with the oven on the side next to the burner. “My pie turned out beautifully, but took hours to prepare and minutes to eat!” she says. “Everything was cooked by scratch in 1949. Egg whites were beaten by hand unless someone in your family owned an electric mixer.”
Only one other recipe agreed with Maggie’s recipe and includes cornstarch in the meringue. Since her recipe came straight from the ARGO Starch website, we’ll include it.
Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup cornstarch
• 1-1/2 cups cold water
• 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
• Grated peel of 1 lemon
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
• 1 baked (9-inch) pie crust
• 3 egg whites
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in water until smooth. Stir in egg yolks.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon peel, lemon juice and butter. Spoon hot filling into cooled pie crust.
3. For meringue: In small bowl, beat egg whites with mixer at high speed until foamy. Combine sugar and cornstarch, then gradually beat into egg whites. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue evenly over hot filling, sealing to edge of crust.
4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until meringue is golden. Cool on wire rack at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.
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Recipe Box: Lemon Meringue Pie and More
Associate Editor Jean Teller hopes to one day replicate those delicious lemon meringue pies her mom used to create.