- To make the crust: Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a Braun kitchen machine and a large bowl combine the butter flour sugar and salt. Process or cut until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.
- Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch (0.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Cool completely before filling.
- To make the filling: Bring the water to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water whisking until completely incorporated. Return to the heat and cook over medium heat whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks whisking with a Braun hand mixer until smooth. Whisking vigorously add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice zest and vanilla stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface and cool to room temperature.
- To make the meringue: Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Using a Braun hand mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually beating until it forms stiff glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. You can also use a piping bag to pipe the meringue onto the curd. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.