Memorial Day, the unofficial kickoff of Summer, and the official kickoff of cookout season is almost here! Mamma MaryEllen is getting the menu ready for her family cookout.

Much like the traditions we hold dear across our cities and townships to remember our veterans, Mamma MaryEllen's Memorial Day menu has remained largely unchanged over the years. It features hamburgers, hot dogs,cole slaw, potato salad, grilled squash, grilled zucchini, sweet tea, lemonade, and lemon chiffon pie.

Of course, everything on MaryEllen’s Memorial Day menu, minus the hot dogs and the buns, is homemade from scratch.  It’s one of the many things that sets Mamma MaryEllen's cookout apart. Another is the perfect finish provided by the lemon chiffon pie.

The beauty of this pie is found in its simplicity. This recipe requires no baking, just a handful of ingredients, a mixer, a microwave, a pie plate, and a few bowls.

  • 1/2 Stick of Butter
  • 1/2 Cup of Sugar 
  • 4 Eggs 
  • 1 Can of Condensed Milk (not evaporated milk)
  • 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1-4 Drops of Yellow Food Coloring (optional) 
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • Whipped Topping to Taste
  • 1 Lemon for Zesting
  • First, make your graham cracker crust. 

    Melt ½ cup of butter, let it cool for about 10 minutes. While it cools, finely crush 10-12 full sheets of graham crackers (that’s 20-24 squares which should measure out to about 1 ½ cups.) Mix the crushed graham crackers with a ½ cup of sugar and your now cooled ½ cup of butter. Press the crust into a 9-10 inch pie plate. Place in freezer for 1 hour.

    Get out your four eggs and leave them on the counter until they warm to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

    While your eggs sit, find the perfect patriotic shirt for your Memorial Day celebration!

    After about 30 mins, mix these ingredients in a bowl:

    • 1 Can of condensed milk 
    • ⅓ cup lemon juice 
    • 1-4 drops yellow food coloring (optional) 

    Now that your eggs have warmed, in a bowl separate from the other ingredients, separate whites from their yolks. Discard the yolks. Add ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar to the egg whites then stir until stiff.

    Gently fold the two bowls of ingredients together. Over stirring will hurt the texture of your egg whites. Remember that it's fine if the mixture is not smooth. Pour mixture into your pie crust that has been chilling for an hour.  Refrigerate overnight, or for at least a few hours.

    Before serving, add whipped topping to taste and decorate with lemon zest!

    This cool, clean, and crisp lemon taste pairs perfectly with a warm Spring or Summer day. The pie is equal parts sweet and refreshing, and serves as the perfect cap to a big Memorial Day meal!

    Bonus tip! If you’re going to include strawberries in your Memorial Day menu, Mamma MaryEllen strongly recommends Strawberry Hill strawberries from Chesnee, South Carolina’s Cooley Farms. She promises that they’ll be the best strawberries you have ever tasted!