Special equipment: a pastry torch; a 9-inch pie dish; dry beans or pie weights
For the pie crust: Put the flour and butter in a food processor and pulse until it has the texture of breadcrumbs. If using your hands, rub the butter and flour together until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the sugar, salt and egg yolks, and stir together with a knife.
Press the mixture together into a ball. If the pastry feels very dry, add the cream, bit by bit, until it comes together.
Press the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes.
For the lemon curd: Meanwhile, in a large, heat-proof bowl, whisk the eggs with the yolks and sugar until the mixture is light and yellow. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk in the lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly, until very thick, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and butter until melted and mixed in. Transfer to a bowl, let cool completely, and then refrigerate with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface.
Blind bake the crust: Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to about 1/4-inch thick; fit into a 9-inch pie dish and crimp the edges.
Place a piece of parchment paper into the pie crust and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until the crust is starting to set and the edges are browning, 20 minutes. Remove the parchment and beans and continue baking until completely golden and crisp looking, another 10 minutes. If the edges brown before the center cooks, cover them with some foil. Let cool completely.
At least 3 hours before you are ready to serve, add the lemon curd to the pie shell and refrigerate. When you are ready to serve, make the meringue.
For the meringue: Put the egg whites and sugar into a large bowl set over a double boiler. Whisk constantly until the sugar melts and the mixture is very thin and warm.
Pour the egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and add the vanilla. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Turn the speed to low and continue to beat until cool, about 10 minutes.
Top the pie with the meringue by either piping with a pastry bag or spreading with an offset spatula to form peaks. Use a pastry torch to brown the meringue and serve.
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