Life is full of lemons. And yes, we’ve heard before, go ahead and make some lemonade (a kidney-friendly choice). But, there are many MANY other options to put those lemons to good use in a renal diet. For example, lemon meringue pie. Tangy, creamy lemon filling with fluffy meringue is a classy dessert any time of the year. For winter, it is a favorite of mine because it is bright! There is a lot of gray in the winter (or white if you happen to live pretty much anywhere in the US this winter). So, a cheery dessert is always well-placed in winter. To top it all off, this friendly dessert is great on a kidney diet with only 62 mg of phos, 94 mg of potassium and 134 mg of sodium.
- 6 raw egg yolks
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 1½ cups water
- 1⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1¼ tablespoon butter, unsalted
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 6 egg whites
- 1 pinch cream of tartar
- 2½ tablespoons sugar
- Use either a graham cracker crust or pie shell.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Place the egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar and salt. Whisk to combine. Then turn stove top on medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil, making sure to stir frequently, and allow it to boil for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove the sugar and water mixture from the heat and gradually add the hot mixture to the egg yolks and stir until they are incorporated together in a smooth mixture. Then return the egg-sugar-water mixture to the same saucepan and turn the heat down to low. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and gently stir in butter, lemon juice and zest until well combined. This may look broken, but just keep stirring until everything is beautiful and incorporated.
- Pour this amazing mixture into the pie shell and proceed to make the meringue.
- Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and then gradually add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. The stiffer the better for an amazing meringue pie crust.
- Top lemon filling with your meringue that's already in the pie shell. Make sure to top with meringue while filling is still hot, it helps to stick together better. Also, make sure the meringue completely covers the filling and make sure that it goes right up to the edge of the crust.
- Bake the pie for 8 to 12 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack or in your fridge. Make sure pie is completely cool before slicing.
I love recipes that need no modifications to make them renal friendly. This is one of them. I didn’t alter anything from the original recipe and it still came out well within a kidney-friendly guideline. And, man, I LOVE lemon meringue pie, with this one being no exception. In conclusion, a few kidney cooking considerations:
- If you choose not to make your filling from scratch, avoid using an instant mix and go with a cook-and-serve mix.[wpdatatable id=7 table_view=regular]
- If you choose to use a graham cracker crust read your labels carefully (or check out our previous post on this topic). The sodium content varies widely among pre-made graham crusts.
- If you choose a plain pie crust, stick with a homemade or be careful what brand of mix or frozen crust. Again, the sodium varies widely. If you can find it, Pillsbury Pet-Ritz makes a great frozen pie crust with only 70 mg sodium for 1/8 of the pie. See a few other products below we reviewed (it is not meant to be a comprehensive review, just an example of why label reading is crucial because products can vary widely in sodium and phos content)
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