1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cold shortening (I use butter flavored)
1 tablespoon cold butter
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon cold water
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a small bowl; cut the cold shortening and butter into the dry ingredients until it is about "half of a pea" size. Stir in the cold water and mix into a ball (don't over work). Divide dough in half.
Any small oven proof dish will work for these little pies; I used my 10 ounce Pyrex custard cups. Press the dough into the bottom and about half way up the sides of the custard cup. You can roll out the dough if you like, but I find it easier to just press the dough into place. Bake in preheated 425 oven for about 10 minutes or until light golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with fork (save the egg white)
2 tablespoons FRESH lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
In a small, heavy bottom, saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch and salt; whisk in the cold water, until it is smooth. Cook (stirring) on medium heat until thick and bubbly, then reduce heat and cook (and stir) for 2 minutes.
Slowly drizzle about half of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolk (whisking like crazy as you drizzle, so you don't get scrambled eggs). Once well whisked, put it all back into the saucepan and cook 2 more minutes at a gentle boil.
Remove from heat and add butter and lemon juice; mix thoroughly and pour into baked pie shells.
1 egg white
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Using a GLASS bowl (never use plastic when whipping egg whites) and beaters that are totally free from any grease or oil; beat egg white and cream of tartar until you get soft peaks. Sprinkle in the vanilla and sugar (while the mixer is still running) and continue beating until you get stiff peaks.
Spread meringue onto hot filling. Put back into a preheated 350 oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the peaks of the meringue are golden.
After the meringue is cooked, let these little pies sit at room temperature for about an hour then chill them for at least 2 hours before serving. Once they are chilled, you can lift the pies out of their baking dish for a prettier presentation.