This is a recipe that my mother used to make as I grew up. Of course she made it better but then any time somebody else makes it, I think it's always better especially if mama makes it. It was always my favorite dessert except for chocolate as I was growing up. My mother is still living but is unable to cook any longer. She is 93 and we still ask her advice when it comes to cooking certain things. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have thru the years.
1Combine egg yolks, can of condensed milk, and lemon juice mix until thick and thoroughly combined. Pour combination into graham cracker pie shell.
Real squeezed lemons can be used also if anyone would prefer to use fresh lemons. I used to use fresh lemons and still do at times but lemon juice does just as well.
2Meringue: Beat egg whites and then add sugar and cream of tartar. Beat until stiff. Spoon meringue onto the combination that's in pie shell and smooth around making sure it touches the sides of the pie shell making a seal. continue spooning and spreading around until all of the meringue is used and it is sealed all of the way around the pie. I usually make some swirls around on the top just for a little decoration if I can and if the meringue isn't going to be to thin in any one spot. Sometimes the meringue will shrink after baking but I don't know why this happens. Maybe someone else can comment and tell me why this happens. The pie is always good reguardless. Bake until the Merinque starts to brown a little on top at 350 degrees for 15-20 depending on how hot your oven is.
3Homemake graham cracker pie crust. Some people would prefer to make their own pie crusts and really it does taste better so here is how I do it. The pie crusts may not be as thick as a store bought one, and the pie may not stay together as in a store bought one but it sure taste better.
melt 1 stick of butter in a pie dish - glass, metal, corning ware etc. then add approx. 1/2 - 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs. They can be bought in can or bag or you can crush your own. Once the butter is melted add the graham cracker crumbs to the butter and press the crumbs to the bottom of the dish and around the sides of the dish. Then add your other ingredients just as with a store bought crust. I have baked my crust a little bit before just to firm them up a little bit before adding my other ingredients but it doesn't have to be done.