Servings: Makes 6 servings
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 sticks butter , chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
- 2 to 6 tablespoons cold skim milk
- 3 lemons
- 3 limes
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt , plus a pinch
- 3 eggs , separated and 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Large pinch cream of tartar
To make the crust: combine flour, butter, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With machine on pulse, add milk, one tablespoon at a time, just until mixture forms a ball. Remove from machine and shape into two discs; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Roll out each disc of dough on a floured surface to a 12-inch rectangle. From each rectangle, cut three 5-inch circles. Carefully place each circle into a 6-ounce ramekin or individual pie pan. (There should be about a 1-inch overhang.) Fold overhang under and decoratively crimp edges with fingers; place ramekins in refrigerator as you go. Chill crusts at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Position rack in lower third. Using tines of a fork, poke several holes in bottoms of pie shells. Line each pie shell with foil and fill with pie weights, dry beans, or rice. Place on a baking sheet and bake 13 minutes. Remove weights and foil and continue baking until golden, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
To make the filling, zest 1 lemon (2 teaspoons) and 1 lime (about 1 teaspoon). Squeeze all lemons and limes (3/4 cup juice); set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/4 cups sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and boils, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks for 1 minute; add 1/2 cup hot cornstarch mixture and stir until blended. Slowly pour egg yolk mixture back into saucepan with remaining cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly over low heat to prevent curdling. Continue stirring and cook about 4 minutes, until very thick. Remove from heat; add butter and stir until melted. Slowly pour in lemon-lime juice and zests; stir to combine. Pour into cooled pie shells.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Using an electric mixer or beater, beat 4 egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and a pinch of salt, then raise speed to high. Beat until soft peaks form when mixer is lifted. Sprinkle in remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, making sure sugar is completely incorporated before adding more. Beat until egg whites are stiff, glossy, and peaked when beaters are lifted.
Spread meringue over fillings to edges of pie shells. Make decorative swirls with the back of a spoon. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook about 10 minutes, until golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving.