This is my dad’s favorite recipe. It was originally on the Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk can. They have since renamed it “Magic Lemon Pie” and have replaced the meringue with a whipped cream topping. Key lime pie has whipped cream on it: lemon icebox pie has a meringue.
I increased the egg whites to three from the recipe’s original two. Likewise, I increased the four tablespoons of sugar for sweetening the meringue to six: two tablespoons of sugar for each egg white is the rule of thumb with meringues. A two-egg meringue is just not enough to have good coverage for a pie.
1 8-inch crumb or baked pie shell*
1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)**
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 egg yolks
3 egg whites, at room temperature***
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
In mixing bowl, combine Eagle Brand milk, lemon juice, lemon rind, and egg yolks; stir until mixture thickens. Pour into chilled crumb crust or cooled pastry shell.
Add cream of tartar to egg whites; beat until almost stiff enough to hold a peak. Add sugar gradually, beating until stiff and glossy but not dry. Pile lightly on pie filling.
Bake at 325°F until meringue is lightly browned. Cool.
*My mom always used a graham cracker crust. A vanilla wafer crust or a zweiback crust would be good too.
**I like Meadow Gold sweetened condensed milk too, when I can find it. It is made by the same company that makes Eagle Brand, but it is a little hard to find where I live.
***Separate the eggs when they are cold (it’s easier to do then), then allow the whites to come to room temperature before making the meringue.