My friend Dawn recently reported that My-T-Fine lemon pudding and pie filling is no longer available in local stores. I have yet to check this out for myself, but if it is correct it is a major issue for this and all future holiday seasons, as My-T-Fine has for my entire life been the filling of choice for lemon meringue pies made at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. Dawn helpfully included a recipe for a homemade alternative. I have never tried making a homemade lemon meringue pie, but if I have to, I have to!
UPDATE: It looks like it's the end of an era. Walmart in Wilkes-Barre, which has been my last source for it, did not have the Jello Cook-and-Serve Coconut Cream pudding and pie filling today. Weis in Nanticoke no longer has My-T-Fine Lemon pudding and pie filling. Gerrity's in the Hanover Mall didn't have either, but they haven't in the past. Neither seems to be easily available online, though both are available from certain sellers for prices many times the in-store price. (My-T-Fine has lately been fifty cents a box, and the Jello pudding was eighty-eight cents.) I have two boxes of My-T-Fine and at least four boxes of the coconut cream. But once those are gone, they're gone.
HOMEMADE LEMON MERINGUE PIE
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 lemons, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 egg whites
6 tablespoons Sugar in the Raw Organic white cane sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
To Make Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.
To Make Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.