Low-fat lemon meringue: They said it could not be done, but it can, it can and I've got the food recipe to prove it

Even us almost vegetarians love our pie. So loaded with lovely, healthy fruits or berries. So delicious. Apple, cherry, lemon, all are great. In fact, when I was a kid, I used to ask for pie on my birthday instead of cake.

Not that I’d say no to cake. Just that pie was a bigger yes.

So I hate to admit that there is a problem with pie. But there is. The fat. But I’ve found a way to fix it.

Eliminate the problem by eliminating the cause
The bulk of the fat is in the crust. And no matter what you do, it has to be there; you just can't make crust without it.

So if you want to do something about the fat, you have to do something about the crust. And, after years of selfless experimenting and tasting (selfless, I tell you), I finally determined that the best way to eliminate the fat in the crust is by simply eliminating the crust. So, technically, the recipe, below, is no longer a pie. But it is an elegant desert; one I would serve to company. And we really don't miss the crust (we think of it as more room for lemon).

So is there any fat left? Sure, in the yolks. But there are only three of these, so this is pretty good. (And some in the milk, if you go the full fat route, but you don’t have to.)

And what about the sugar?
The sugar was easier to deal with. First, I used a sweeter lemon: A Meyer lemon. And, second, I kept cutting the sugar to see how far I could go. I ended up at about half (or even less) what the recipes tend to call for.

It's not perfect, but it’s better. A helluva lot better.
Food recipe: Lemon Meringue Treats
3 eggs, separated
1 cup of milk (everyone knows full-fat tastes better, but I’ve used low fat and it works surprisingly well)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
Juice of 3 – 4 Meyer lemons (Meyer lemons are smaller and sweeter than regular lemons, but if you can’t find them, use two regular lemons and add an extra 1/4 cup of sugar)
minced rind of 2 Meyer lemons (or 1 regular lemon)

Preheat oven to 400. Place four large or six small ramekins on a cookie sheet.

Mix 3 egg yolks, milk, ½ cup sugar, lemon juice and rind in a saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour. Mix frequently to dissolve the flour (if lumps form, press them against the side of the pot with your wooden spoon). Once the mixture has thickened (you will think it will never happen, but it will, it will), fill your ramekins no more than three-quarters full.

In a clean bowl, beat the three egg whites (you can add a pinch of cream of tartar to help form nice peaks, if you wish). Sprinkle in the remaining four tablespoons of sugar, one tablespoon at a time (next time I make this, I plan to try adding a dash of vanilla; say, 1/2 teaspoon, to see what it does to the taste). Once you have nice, stiff peaks, spoon them into your ramekins.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven when the tops are golden brown. Let cool completely if you can wait, then chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. They taste better cold, but no one can blame you if you want to eat them warm. We generally do.

Enjoy!