Bet’cha Ethel Bakes Lemon Meringue Pie
Gordy and Helen were watching a scary movie on television when Sallee strolled in flopping down next them on the sofa. “Hey, betcha don’t know how to make an astronaut’s baby stop crying?”
Helen too engrossed in what she was watching so that she could hide her eyes when the monster appeared ignored Sallee completely. Gordy answered indifferently, “Comet.”
“Hum,” Sallee grunted, “Ok I bet’cha, don’t know what shutters do in a high wind?”
Her older brother rolled his eyes, “The question is,” he corrected her with an air of superiority reserved for older brothers, “the question is: what do WINDOWS do in a high wind?”
“How do you know?” She demanded.
Since the monster had just appeared in the scene on the screen, Gordy’s attention was now rapt on the tube. He didn’t answer. Irritated by his smugness, she lightly punched him in the arm. “Hey, cut it out,” he squawked before turning back to the movie.
“How do you know what the question is?” She demanded again.
Not taking his eyes from the screen he answered, “It’s my book.” Glancing over for a second, he could see that Sallee looked puzzled. “You got all of those lame questions from a joke book I got for Christmas a couple of years ago.”
With a big exasperated sigh, she left the two and went looking for Ethel in the kitchen. “What are you doing?” she asked Ethel’s large backside.
Ethel leaning over the open oven jumped, “Lord a mercy I din’ hear you come in. Ya liked t’ scared me t’ death.” She laughed. “I’s makin’ a lemon meringue pie. You like ‘em doncha?”
“They aren’t my favorite.” Sallee allowed. “Got any bowls to lick?” She asked as she perused the sink.
“You can lick the beaters if ya like?” Ethel directed her to the mixing bowl on the counter.
“Yum, this is good what is it?”
“What’s in meringue?”
“Egg whites, beat up good, a little sugar.”
“Are the eggs cooked? To make ‘em look white like this?”
“Naa, dey is raw. Ya jest beat ‘em up good.” Ethel having positioned her pie just so on the rack carefully closed the oven door and was standing to wipe her hands on her ever-present dishtowel.
The child’s eyes lite up, she snatched up the bowl and the beaters hightailing back to the TV room. “Hey, I betcha a $100 I can eat a raw egg with a spoon.”
Quick with his retort, “Do you have a hundred bucks?”
Can’t bet it if you don’t have it.”
“Okay, I bet you I can eat raw egg white and if I do I’ll…”
Her brother cut her off again, “if you don’t eat it you can’t say I betcha for a whole month. How ‘bout that?”
“Deal” They shook on it. Sallee sat down on the sofa between the two. Taking a big spoonful of the leftover meringue, she gobbled it down, smirking. “You lose.” She shrieked with delight.
“That’s not egg white,” Gordy said as he stuck his finger in the bowl pulling out a glob to taste.
“Is too. Ask Ethel.” Sallee crowed not caring in the slightest that she had not established her bet’s payoff. She got him, sweet revenge, indeed.
Ethel’s Lemon Meringue Pie
First thing. Preheat oven to 350°, den make crust.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 t. sugar
1 t. salt
stick o’ cold butter, cut up int’1/2-inch cubes 1/2 cup cold lard, cut up int’ 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup cold lard, cut up int’ 1/2-inch cubes
5 T. or so ice water
Take all o’ de ingredients an’ mix t’gether int’ a ball. Use only as much water as needed t’ form a ball. Den wrap up de dough an’ put it in de icebox. After it’s cooled down fo’ a spell, roll de dough out int’ a 10” circle. Put in a 9” pie pan, cut off any excess dough, den crimp de sides. Before bakin’ prick the bottom good wit’ a fork t’ keep it from bubblin’ up. Bake ‘til light brown. Let cool while you make the fillin’
1 cup white sugar
2 T. flour
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 lemons, juiced and grated peel
2 T. butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
4 egg whites
6 T. white sugar
Make Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, mix up good a cup o’ de sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice an’ lemon peel. Cook over medium-high heat, stirrin’ often, ‘til mixture comes t’ a boil. Stir in de butter. Put yolks in a small bowl an’ slowly mix in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Den mix yolk mixture back int’ remainin’ sugar mixture. Brang t’a boil an’ keep cookin’ while stirrin’ constantly ‘til thick. Remove from heat. Pour fillin’ int’ baked pie shell.
Meringue In a good sized glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites ‘til foamy. Add sugar gradually, an’ keep up whippin’ ‘til stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, seal de edges at de crust.
Bake in de preheated oven fo’ 10 minutes, o’ until meringue is golden brown.