Sweet Tea Lemon Icebox Pie
- 1 1/4 cups crushed graham crackers
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, very soft
- 4 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons instant tea powder
- Crush enough graham crackers to obtain 1 1/4 cups. Melt butter and add to crackers along with sugar. Press evenly over entire surface of a 9-inch pie tin.
- Place in oven for about 15 minutes. About halfway during baking, press crust evenly flat as it will rise. Bake until golden crisp and set aside.
- In a non-reactive saucepan bring to boil lemon juice and first listed 1/2 cup sugar.
- In a separate bowl whisk eggs until very smooth, add remaining sugar and whisk vigorously until well blended.
- Add 1/2 of boiling mixture to beaten eggs and whisk smooth. Pour into remaining boiling mixture and on high heat whisk energetically until mixture boils and has thickened very well. (Make sure that before removing pan from heat that the mixture makes thick bubbles like lava.)
- Remove from heat and pour into bowl. Once temperature of curd drops below 130°F, add butter and stir smooth. If butter does not completely dissolve after a few minutes, place the mixture in a microwave oven for 5-10 seconds.
- Pour into pie crust and place in refrigerator.
- For meringue whip egg whites, sugar, and salt over a pot of low simmering water. Using a hand held whip, whip to 165°F. Remove from heat and continue whipping using a machine until meringue is thick and fluffy. While meringue is whipping, add tea powder. For a deeper tea flavor add 1 extra teaspoon.
- Spread meringue onto pie and place back in refrigerator.
- Pie can be served as is or meringue can be browned. To brown meringue use a blow torch to gently brown meringue or place pie for a few minutes in a 475°F oven until lightly browned.
NOTE: This amazingly delicious and very creamy curd requires following the recipe and directions correctly. If not cooked properly the curd will not sufficiently set. Do not top pie with crème Chantilly instead of meringue as the curd is too tart. However it will be balanced perfectly with the sweetness of meringue.