This afternoon we honored and celebrated the life of my Uncle George.
J. George Coons was a resident of Richmond, California and a native of Oakland, California. George passed away peacefully in his sleep at age 91 on August 16th, 2012. Born to Albert and Virginia (DeCoursey) Coons, George retired from Alameda Naval Air Station after 25 years of service. George was a railroad enthusiast and loved traveling with his beloved wife Lilian to whom he was married for 41 years.
George was preceded in death by his wife Lilian, parents Albert and Virgina (DeCoursey) Coons, brother Henry DeCoursey and sister Louise Hagburg.
A gentle and kind-hearted man, George was well loved and respected by those who knew him. He is lovingly survived by 4 nieces, 2 nephews, their families, many friends and neighbors.
Uncle George loved my mom’s Lemon Meringue Pie. Actually, just about anyone who has tried it, loves it! It’s a common request. Growing up with a healthy producing lemon tree in the backyard, I’ve been blessed with more Lemon Meringue Pies over the years than I can count. What better dish to prepare for the memorial reception to honor Uncle George than Lemon Meringue Pie. 🙂 Between us, my mom and I made 5 Lemon Meringue Pies for this afternoon!
Lemon Meringue Pie
9-inch baked pie crust (see recipe below)
meringue (see recipe below)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons lemon peel
1/2 cup lemon juice
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine sugar, water, cornstarch and egg yolks. Stirring constantly over medium heat, bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in butter, lemon peel and lemon juice. Pour into baked pie shell.
(Note: this crust recipe is for 2 9-inch crusts. Even if making one 9-inch pie, I’d recommend making a double-recipe for the crust as it seems I never have enough dough if I make a single-recipe.)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
Cut shortening into flour and salt, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until particles are size of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl.
Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured cloth-covered board.
Roll pastry into circle 2 inches larger than upside-down pie plate, 9 x 1 1/4 inches, or 3 inches larger than 10- or 11-inch tart pan, with floured cloth-covered rolling-pin. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease onto plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.
Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown; cool on wire rack.
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients and beat egg whites until they’re glossy white and form stiff peaks. Mound the meringue on the top of the pie, making peaks using the back of a spoon. Bake at 400 degrees F for 6 to 10 minutes.
A beautiful service honoring Uncle George was performed by The Rev. Julie of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Albany. I’m sure Uncle George would have been happy to see all who came to celebrate his life, talk about his love of my late Aunt Lilian and the Oakland A’s and how many of his friends brought his favorite dessert – all different from the next. 🙂
This slice of Lemon Meringue is for you, Uncle George! You were a wonderful and kind man loved by all who knew you. May you rest in peace. We all love and miss you!
2 Timothy 4:7 ~ I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.