1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
1 pint heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk 1 cup sugar and cream of tartar. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar mixture. Increase speed and beat about 5 minutes, until the whites are thick and glossy and form stiff peaks.
Coat a 9- or 10-inch pie pan with vegetable-oil spray. Use a spatula to form a pie crust in the pan (you can also pipe the whites for a prettier presentation). Bake the crust on the middle rack of oven for 1 hour at 225 degrees. Allow to cool completely before filling.
To make filling, whisk 1/2 cup sugar into the egg yolks in a heavy non-reactive saucepan. Add the lemon juice and zest. Cook over very low heat until mixture is very thick and will coat the back of a spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Whip the cream to the soft peak stage. Sprinkle in the 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff. Fold half the whipped cream into the lemon custard and spoon into prepared meringue shell. Top with the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate 12 hours before serving. Serves 8.
Nutritional information per serving: 402 calories (54 percent from fat), 24.5 g fat (14.5 g saturated, 7.3 g monounsaturated), 187.4 mg cholesterol, 4.4 g protein, 43.1 g carbohydrates, no fiber, 57.8 mg sodium.