As a newlywed, I remember thinking that Easter was the easiest and therefore, most joyful holiday. You wake up and there are some eggs hidden around, put on your stylish new Easter dress and go to church. After an uplifting sermon, go back to your mom’s and enjoy a huge Easter feast. Later, on the drive home think to yourself, “ What a lovely relaxing day.”
Then I had four kids.
Those eggs don’t magically appear. You must wait until everyone is asleep and you are so tired you can’t see straight, then strategically hide them according to the age and skill level of the kids. I remember one year the power went out and we couldn’t see to hide eggs, so my mother and I literally stood in the living room and threw handfuls of eggs around. Best year ever.
Oh, the cute Easter clothes for Sunday church. I just love seeing the little girls in their frilly dresses and the boys in their suits. When my daughter was little I would sew her Easter dresses. Here is something I have learned about dressing children for church on Easter. You will spend a lot of time and money trying to find cute coordinating outfits. No matter what you or they pick, they will like it right up until they have to wear it.
Then there will be an unholy fit that you would dare try and make them wear that awful dress/suit. They will continue to show both you, and sometimes everyone around you, their displeasure through the whole church service. Inevitably there will be tears when you go to take family pictures, with at least one child who won’t cooperate. You’ll have photographic evidence of the main fit thrower to remember as the years pass. They will be the one with the red-rimmed eyes and their arms crossed in front of them, and just enough of a smile to be able to say, but I was smiling Mom!
Oh, and the dinner, mad props to the moms and grandmas in charge of the holiday dinners. The amount of work that goes in before the dinner, not just the cooking prep, but the cleaning of the house, the grocery shopping, the whole bit. It’s exhausting before you even get to the cooking! I volunteered to have a holiday dinner at my house once because I thought it would be fun and I foolishly thought that I could do just as good of a job or, dare I even say it, maybe a better job than my mother. I was wrong…on both counts. I think that I ended up huddled in a corner crying and yelling at my turkey, while my mother did the motherly thing, telling me that it would all just work out fine. I’m not even joking.
That all said, even though I was foolishly naive about the simpleness of pulling together what for my family is a traditional Easter. I do still love this holiday.
If you have never made a lemon meringue pie, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Lemon meringue pies are one of those things that look deceptively hard and time consuming, but are actually one of the quickest and easiest pies to make. Not only that, but they are also a cheap dessert. I love it when things are fabulous and affordable. The only thing that I can say is difficult about this pie is getting a perfect slice out of the dish. Light, tart, sweet, pretty; this pie has it all. Delicate as a cloud meringue that melts on your tongue, and then a punch in the kisser of flavorful lemon curd. I love adding a touch of whimsy to my dishes when I can, so I thought that adding some colorful layers to this pie to make it rainbowed a bit would be fun and also very springy. This recipe was inspired by this post by mother and daughter food blogger team, Pat and Dahn, at Savor The Best. I hope that you will love the simplicity and presentation of this pie.
Rainbow Lemon Meringue Pie
- 4 extra large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 6 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 11/2 cups boiling water
- 1 prebaked 9 inch pie crust
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Separate the eggs, placing the whites into a medium sized mixing bowl, and the yolks aside to be used later.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until the egg whites start to become foamy. Start to add in the sugar, adding only one tablespoon at a time and beat until the mixture becomes thick, white, and glossy. Add in the vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form when you pull out the beater. Set this aside while you make the filling.
In a medium sized sauce pan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and pinch of salt. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, cold water and egg yolks and whisk thoroughly. Slowly pour in the boiling water and butter. Stirring constantly, cook over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Let boil one minute.
Divide the filling into three parts. Add one to two drops of food coloring to two of the parts, leaving the third as it is. Layer the colored lemon filling in the prepared pie crust.
Spread the meringue over the hot filling, taking care to spread the meringue completely to the edges of the pie.
Place the pie in the oven and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the meringue is set and the tops of the peaks are lightly browned.