Lemon Chiffon Pie

1 9- inch baked pie crust homemade or store-bought
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Dash of salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar divided
1/2 cup unsalted butter
5 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
3 large eggs separated into yolks and whites
Zest of 1 lemon
Sweetened whipped cream for topping


In a saucepan, bring the water, lemon juice, salt, 1 cup sugar and butter to a boil over medium-high heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water until dissolved. Pour into the boiling mixture and reduce heat to low. Cook for 2-3 minutes until thickened, stirring constantly.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Temper the yolks by whisking in a few spoonfuls of the hot lemon mixture. Then pour the tempered yolks back into the saucepan and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest. Let cool for 15 minutes.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy. Gradually add in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 3-4 minutes.
Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the lemon custard base in two additions until fully incorporated.
Pour the chiffon filling into the pre-baked pie crust and smooth the top. Gently cover with plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until completely set.
When ready to serve, top with sweetened whipped cream and garnish as desired with berries or lemon slices.
For best results, use a deep dish 9-inch pie plate for the crust.
Pie can be made 1-2 days in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator.
Let the pie sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before slicing and serving for optimal texture.