Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe
by John Kanell
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
This zingy lemon meringue pie rests in a crisp and flakey homemade butter crust and has a mound of light as air Italian meringue on top making for an easy to make but very special treat!
This pie is a lemon-lovers dream come true! Tons of zing and a perfect balance of sweetness and textures in each bite. I loved this recipe with a homemade butter crust but you can make a crushed cookie or nut crust if desired. The contrast of CRISP butter crust and soft zingy filling is just great. If you dont love meringue you can always top with a big mound of whipped cream instead!
Classic Lemon Meringue Pie
This is the perfect lemon meringue pie! With a delicious homemade pie crust, tart and smooth lemon filling, and a fluffy toasted meringue topping, its impossible to resist.
I write this as snow falls outside and winds whip around my house at 50 mph. Despite the current weather conditions, the calendar says spring and Easter are on the horizon. And as someone who lives and breathes her daily planner, that means its time to prepare for the change of seasons. Close up that fireplace, place some tulips in a vase, open those windows whoa that wind! Lets keep them closed!
Lets welcome a fresh new season with a fresh new pie the pie Ive been taunting you with for weeks!! The beautiful, the timeless, the Classic Lemon Meringue Pie.
My lemon meringue pie recipe has a billowy and toasty meringue topping, a balanced sweet/tart lemon filling, and an extra thick and flaky pie crust. I worked on this recipe for a long time, making at least a dozen meringue pies in the past few months. Both my kitchen and head were exploding lemons. Whenever we had friends or family stop by, Id force lemon meringue pie on them. PLEASE TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS I begged while barely blinking.
Its All In The Filling
Granted, there should be a generous depth of meringue on top, but its the filling thats the star of a lemon meringue pie: for me it has to be lip-puckeringly sharp with a real bitter kick to balance the sweet lusciousness of the meringue.
Grans trick was to use whole lemons pith, peel and all
Gran would blitz some of the whole lemons to a pulp which she then sieved to press out as much of the bitter lemony flavour for the base of the filling. The result is an intensely lemony curd, with layers of sharp, sour and bitter: as it should be to my mind!
Using only the lemon juice and zest, as most recipes do, does not give the intensity the filling should have in my opinion.
In the interests of not wasting anything, I add the blitzed lemon pulp that is left in the sieve to a jug of water and keep it in the fridge for wonderfully refreshing lemony water.
Recommended Reading: Campbells Soup Chicken Pot Pie
How To Store Lemon Meringue Pie
There is always a debate going on about how to store pies. A good rule of thumb is that if a pie contains eggs, you must store it in the refrigerator. Coconut cream pies, chocolate pies, cheesecake, and lemon meringue pies that contain eggs must all be stored in the fridge. Fruit pies made without eggs, like apple, cherry, and blueberry, can be safely stored at room temperature.
A delicate meringue easily absorbs the flavors and odors of more pungent foods. Therefore, refrigerate your pie in a covered pie dish to maintain maximum freshness and flavor. Freshly baked lemon meringue pie will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. Lemon meringue is a type of pie that does not freeze well. Therefore, freezing is not recommended because of quality issues.
Heres Why This Recipe Works
There are 3 main roadblocks when making lemon meringue pie: a soggy pie crust, a watery lemon filling, and/or a weeping meringue. Lets work through each.
You May Like: The Original Key Lime Pie Company
How To Make Lemon Meringue Pie
Over the years and especially the past few months, I learned that lemon meringue pie can be a daunting process but it doesnt have to be. Let me make this recipe easy for you by giving you a tested recipe, lots of helpful recipe notes, and a video so you can watch it come to life.
Now that you have a general idea of the process, lets learn why this lemon meringue pie recipe works and what mistakes to avoid.
How Do You Keep Lemon Meringue Pie From Weeping
If you find your meringue often weeps there are a couple of things that could be causing this. In my experience, the most common problem is that I got impatient and adding the sugar too quickly so it didnt dissolve all the way while I was making the meringue. Try adding just a tablespoon of sugar to the egg whites at a time, waiting about 20 seconds between each addition so that the sugar has a chance to completely dissolve.
My other best tips and tricks for a perfect meringue is to make sure to place it on the filling while the filling is still hot and really be sure to press that meringue against the edges of the pie crust so it can seal the filling beneath. If you leave gaps, the meringue doesnt have anything to cling to and has a tendency to want to shrink in on itself.
Finally, if you are stilling having issues with weeping meringue, it could be that you live in a more humid climate, which I have heard can be the culprit in a lot of other desserts that involve beaten egg whites. Try making this pie on dry days rather than when its damp outside.
Pin it HERE!
Recommended Reading: The Profit Key Lime
Tips From The Pillsbury Kitchens
- tip 1 Pie baking can be even easier when you use Pillsbury Frozen Pie Crusts. Find them in the freezer case with a pre-crimped edge, ready to use. The disposable pan makes clean up a snap.
- tip 2 Meringue can be temperamental, and results can vary based on humidity levels, drafts and temperature changes. Here are some helpful tips to steer you to success:
- To know if meringue is ready for topping, rub a small amount of meringue between two fingers to see if sugar is completely dissolved. It should feel completely smooth if not, continue to beat mixture.
- After cooling, its not unusual for small beads of moisture to form on top of meringue. This can sometimes mean that meringue has been overcooked.
- Egg whites whip best at room temperature for food safety reasons, limit to 30 minutes at room temperature. Make sure your egg whites are yolk-free, or your meringue may deflate. A clean glass, metal or copper bowl is best for whipping meringue.
- Before cutting into pie, dip knife into water, and do not dry it off. This helps prevent meringue from sticking to the knife.
Whats In Lemon Meringue Pie
I love this recipe for the best lemon meringue pie because you can make it with ingredients you probably have on hand. You dont need anything exotic, but you do need some fresh lemons. Fresh lemons taste better than bottled lemon juice, but in a pinch, that will work too. Soon you will be preparing the perfect lemon meringue pie.
You will need a baked pie shell and for the filling egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. The meringue recipe for pie calls for egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar.
Heres a list of what you will need:
- Pie crust you only need a single shell pie crust
- Eggs I use large sized eggs
- Salt table salt or kosher salt will work
- Fresh lemons the fresher the better! Fresh lemon juice really makes a difference. You can make this with Meyer lemons if you desire.
- Butter I have used both salt and unsalted butter with good results.
Making And Blind Baking The Crust
Our sweet sugar cookie crust is so good and makes this lemon meringue pie sooo good. This sugar cookie crust recipe is the same one we use for fruit tarts!
When making this crust youll cream together butter, sugar, and egg for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Then add in your vanilla, salt, almond extract, and flour, until just combined. Divide the dough in half, press the dough into your pie dish, and freeze for 20 minutes!
This sugar cookie crust recipe makes enough for 2 crusts, so if you are only making 1 pie, feel free to follow our instructions below to freeze it!
Blind baking is where you bake your crust without filling. We want to weigh down the crust so that it does not slump or shrink when it bakes. Youll want to line your crust with a large piece of foil or parchment paper then fill it with either pie weights, dry beans, or granulated sugar . If you use dry beans, do not try to cook them later on. bag them up and use them again for blind baking! If you use granulated sugar you can still reuse the sugar in your baking, just make sure you cool it before using it or placing it a container.
Or you can purchase pie weights like these one from Amazon and they can be used over and over again for years to come!
Freeze it for the future
If you are freezing one of your crusts for the future follow these instructions!
How To Make Lemon Meringue Pie Topping
The meringue toasts in the oven. A lot of recipes call for putting the whole pie under the broiler, but I prefer to bake it so that the egg whites have a chance to cook through. Also, see the end of step 6 in the recipe below. Make sure you spread the meringue topping on while the filling is still warm. The warm filling helps seal the two layers together, preventing separation.
- Did you know? Room temperature egg whites whip faster than cold egg whites. And room temperature egg whites whip into a greater volume than cold egg whites. So make sure your egg whites are at room temperature before starting the meringue.
- Time saving tip: You need 5 egg yolks for the lemon filling and 5 egg whites for the meringue topping. Separate the 5 eggs while they are cold. Leave the egg whites out on the counter. Blind bake the pie crust and prepare the lemon filling. By the time youre ready to start the meringue, the egg whites will be room temperature.
Meringue can be tricky, but youre a baker and you can absolutely handle this.
Want to watch me make the lemon meringue pie filling, topping, and assemble the pie? Here you go!
- Cook Time:1 hour, 10 minutes
- Total Time:7 hours, 10 minutes
- Yield:one 9-inch pie
You May Like: Campbells Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
Tips From The Betty Crocker Kitchens
- tip 1 To ensure success with this recipe, let the pie cool for one hour, then chill for four hours or until filling is set before slicing into it.
- tip 2 The key for perfect meringue is in the cracking. Be sure to cleanly separate the whites from the yolks, because even a speck of yolk will prevent the whites from beating up properly.
- tip 3 Be ready to quickly beat up the egg whites so they can be spread directly on the hot fillingthe heat helps seal the meringue to the pie.
- tip 4 Use Betty Crocker pie crust mix for the scratch pie crust in this recipe to save time and elbow grease.
- tip 5 Get your creative groove on when you spread the meringue on topuse the back of a spoon to make swirls and peaks that will look amazing once they brown in a hot oven or under the broiler.
How To Prevent Your Egg Whites From Weeping
Weeping refers to the layer of moisture that forms between the meringue and the filling after chilling, and no one wants a slice of sad, watery pie! Heres how to keep your meringue from weeping.
- Dont overbake the meringue! Overbaking makes the egg whites shrink and squeeze out droplets of moisture.
- Undissolved sugar in the egg whites may also lead to weeping. Mix the egg whites and sugar at a low speed until the mixture feels perfectly smooth .
Tip: Use superfine caster sugar it dissolves more quickly than regular sugar.
- Prepare the meringue before the pie filling, so its ready to spread while the filling is still hot. Heat from the filling will cook the meringue onto the filling, making it less likely to shrink or leak.
- Make sure the meringue is completely sealed to the edge of the pie .
You May Like: Nation’s Pies
Why Youll Love This Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe
- FLAVORFUL: The lemon flavor in this pie is just perfect. Between the filling and the light touch of lemon in the meringue, youll be delighted by the taste.
- SUMMER DESSERT: While you can make this dessert any time, lemon is especially delicious in the summer. A chilled slice of pie on a hot day is unbeatable.
- CLASSIC PIE: This is one of those classic pies that everyone loves. You cant go wrong with this recipe.
The 15 Best Places For Lemon Meringue In Sydney
Tarcisio Pinhate: Loved the place. I would recommend the salmon sandwhich, really filling and delicious. I also tried the lemon meringue, which tasted just like home. So that must mean it’s good right?
Carlos: This place is amazing, best fruit toast ever and coffee is spot on.
Rob: The Roasted Vegetable and Feta roll is my fav. Can’t go past the almond croissants too.
matt bowden: Amazing lemon meringue pie!
Sam Morton: The fruit bun / loaf is amazing. Hot croissents right now, get there quick’
Derek Wilson: Lots of gluten-free and dairy-free bread options here. Spelt, amaranth and quinoa all feature regularly.
Rixt Wiersma: Lemon meringue tart is delicious.
David Jones: Vegan caramel slice with ice cream was the bomb!
Spooning Australia: COOH Alexandria came in at #14 in my Top 20 Restaurants of 2017. I now, finally, can present its full review. Such a fantastic venue. Check out full review at Spooning Australia. Bon Appétit.
Tomomi KM: Love the lemon meringue tart.
Vanessa Leddicoat: The best apple danish ever.
Kim Loane: Seriously good place that is highly awarded for their pastries.
JH H-D: The panocotta with fig jam was so good
Esther Assaad: Best gelato in Sydney!
Evgeny M: Get a Lemon Meringue Pie at Cafe Cino, it’s just amazing.
Paul Farrell: Very good conference facilities. Pleasant staff.
Jen Dudley-Nicholson: Beware the automatic mini bar. The tea is free.
Toby: Full of wankers
Traladadie: Tender steak, cheese & smokey bacon pie
You May Like: Chocolate Covered Key Lime Pie On A Stick Key West