This delicious and classic Lemon Meringue Pie recipe is the only one you’ll need. I’m including all of my best lemon meringue tips too, so your pie will be perfect!
A homemade lemon meringue pie with a crispy all-butter pie crust, creamy lemon curd filling, and a fluffy French meringue topping is easy to make if you follow this recipe carefully.
Lemon Meringue Pie might seem intimidating, but I promise that I’ll give you all of my test tips and instructions so that you can have lemon meringue pie success!
The finished pie is well worth the effort too. You’ll love this lemon pie with a bright, zesty, and silky filling and a cloud-like topping with chewy edges just like toasted marshmallows.
Why You’ll Love This Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe
- Tips and Tricks– Have you made a lemon meringue pie before that didn’t turn out quite right? I’ll teach you how to avoid common issues like weeping and beading of the meringue topping so this pie will be perfect!
- A Classic Homemade Favorite – This is an old-fashioned pie recipe that’s been around for a long time. It’s a favorite of many because it’s light, sweet, and tangy.
- Almost no-bake– You’ll need to pre-bake the pie crust, but you can do that ahead of time if you like. The pie itself only needs 10 minutes in the oven to set the meringue though! The lemon curd filling is cooked on the stove.
Try my easy and delicious Blueberry Cheesecake Bars recipe too!
Ingredients for Lemon Meringue Pie
Simple ingredients combined expertly create the best lemon meringue pie.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Pie Crust: 1 nine-inch pie crust is the bottom layer of this pie. You will want to blind bake it so that it’s fully baked before adding the filling. My all-butter pie crust recipe is perfect, or use your favorite recipe. Some enjoy a graham cracker crust with lemon meringue pie too!
Lemon Filling for Pie
- Egg Yolks: Just the yolks from four large eggs are used in the lemon curd layer of the pie. Good news though, the whites are needed later for the meringue, so there’s no waste.
- Water: To get the right consistency, more liquid is needed. This filling is very similar to classic lemon curd but thinned with water to make it work as a pie filling.
- Granulated Sugar: For a perfectly sweetened yet still tart lemon curd.
- Corn Starch: This is the ingredient that thickens the filling so that you’ll get perfect slices.
- Salt: Just a bit helps to balance the sweetness and the other flavors.
- Lemon Juice and Zest: Only FRESH lemon will do for this delicious pie. You’ll need 3-4 juicy lemons to get a half cup of juice.
- Butter: Added to the filling at the end, this makes the lemon curd silky and smooth.
Meringue for Lemon Pie
- Granulated Sugar: A meringue is primarily made of sugar and egg whites, plus stabilizers for the right texture.
- Cornstarch: It’s the secret ingredient in my meringue that keeps small droplets of liquid from forming on the topping – this is called beading, and you don’t want it!
- Egg Whites: Before you start to whip these up, be sure that they are at room temperature.
- Cream of Tartar: This ingredient is an acid added to many recipes to help egg whites whip up better. It’s used similarly in macarons.
- Salt and Vanilla Extract: To add delicious flavor to the meringue layer of the pie.
How To Make Lemon Meringue Pie
- Bake the Crust: Before doing anything else, blind bake your pie crust and let it cool completely. This can be made ahead, I usually bake my pie crust at night to make the pie on the next day.
- Make the Meringue: In a small bowl, combine the sugar with cornstarch and set aside. In a bowl of a standing mixer, whip the egg whites with cream of tartar for 1 minute or until soft peaks. Then slowly add in the sugar mixture (1 tablespoon at a time) until stiff peaks form. Right before stiff peaks form make sure to add in the vanilla extract.
- Make the Lemon Curd: In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs very well and set aside. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and lemon juice. Cook the mixture while stirring with a whisk constantly for about 2-3 minutes.
- Temper the Egg Yolks: Add about a half cup of the hot mixture to the whisked yolks and whisk vigorously. This will make the eggs come closer to the temperature of the heated mixture without scrambling.
- Finish the Curd: Add the egg yolk mixture into the lemon mixture and cook for 3-4 more minutes. It will thicken. Remove from heat, and whisk in the lemon zest and butter cubes, the butter will make the filling silky and smooth.
- Build the Pie: Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Pour the lemon curd into the baked crust. Briefly whip the meringue again for 20-30 seconds to fluff it up, then spread it over the hot lemon curd filling, making sure that you touch it to all edges of the pie crust to create a seal.
- Bake: Bake the pie in the preheated oven for just 10 minutes, or until the meringue topping is toasted and lightly browned. Allow to cool at room temperature for 1.5-2 hours before slicing.
Read all of the tips below! I’m telling you how to avoid shrinking, weeping and beading, because I want your meringue pie to be perfect!
Lemon Meringue Pie Tips
The two most comment issues reported with lemon meringue pies are weeping (where liquid seeps out of the filling and/or the meringue) and beading (small drops of liquid form on the outside of the meringue). These tips will help you to avoid both!
- The crust must be blind baked completely before adding the filling. This pie is only baked in the oven for 10 minutes to toast the topping, as the lemon curd is already cooked.
- Humidity can ruin this recipe. Don’t make this if it’s humid or raining outside. Try making lemon muffins instead!
- The order is important: You might wonder why we’re making the meringue before the lemon curd filling. This is because we want the filling to be hot when we add the meringue to it. This helps prevent weeping and separation.
- Wait to cut it: You must wait at least an hour and a half before trying to cut into this pie. That gives the filling enough time to set fully.
- This pie is best if eaten the same day that it’s made. I don’t recommend making it ahead of time.
- Fat is the enemy of meringues: For this reason, it’s very important that your bowls and utensils are very clean and dry. It’s also important that when separating your eggs that the whites are free from any bits of yolk. Even a speck of yellow egg yolk or oil in the egg whites will keep them from whipping.
- Use room temperature eggs: Cold egg whites will be much harder to whip to stiff peaks. Allow the eggs to sit until they are at room temperature before beginning.
- Avoid overmixing: Stop mixing as soon as the egg whites come to stiff peaks. Overmixing can cause the meringue to break and may make it too thick to spread.
- Add cornstarch to the meringue: This is the secret ingredient that keeps small droplets of liquid from forming on your topping.
- Toasting the meringue: I use a quick trip in the oven to toast the top of my lemon meringue pie, but you can also do this using a kitchen torch. There’s no need to bake this pie, you simply need to brown the top.
- Create a good seal: To avoid shrinking, spread the meringue all the way to the edges of the pie crust before baking. It’s helpful to start from the outer edge since too much meringue piled onto the center of the pie could sink. Go lightly.
For best results, you should serve this pie the same day that you make it, allowing at least 90 minutes between baking and serving so that the pie sets. Leftovers can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to two days. Use toothpicks to keep the plastic wrap from touching the meringue.
There are three types of meringues: French, Swiss, and Italian. French meringue is the simplest of the three and is an uncooked meringue recipe. It’s also fluffier and lighter than the others, which is why I love using it for this light pie.
I really suggest that you make this pie earlier in the day that you plan to serve it. While it can be refrigerated and stored for a day or two, more can go wrong with the meringue that way. In this recipe, the only thing that I suggest making a day ahead is the crust, if you want to.
In recipes where a wet filling is added to a crust, it’s usually recommended that you bake the crust without the filling first, so that it will stay crispy. Be sure that you weigh down the crust with pie weights (or tin foil and dry beans) so that it won’t puff up in the oven.
Make this lemon meringue pie! It’s a classic old-fashioned recipe that everyone loves. Be sure to Pin the recipe so you can make it again and again.
- 1 9-inch pie crust blind baked
For the lemon curd filling:
- 4 large (85g) egg yolks at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon (1g) salt
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice FRESH only, not bottled.
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons (28g) butter cut into small pieces
For the meringue:
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 large (142g) egg whites at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon (2g) cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon (1g) salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional but delicious
- Blind bake the pie crust, and allow to cool completely.
- Make the meringue: In a small bowl, combine the sugar with cornstarch and set aside. In a bowl of a standing mixer, whip the egg whites with cream of tartar for 1 minute or until soft peaks. Then slowly add in the sugar mixture (1 tablespoon at a time) until stiff peaks form. Right before stiff peaks form make sure to add in the vanilla extract.
- Make the lemon curd filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs very well and set aside. In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine water, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and lemon juice. Cook the mixture while stirring with a whisk constantly about 2-3 minutes. To temper the egg yolks, add about half a cup of the hot mixture into the yolks and whisk vigorously. This will make the eggs come to the same temperature without scrambling. Add the egg yolk mixture into the lemon mixture and cook for 3-4 more minutes. It will thicken. Remove from heat, and whisk in the lemon zest and butter cubes, the butter will make the filling silky and smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Briefly whip the meringue again for 20-30 seconds.
- Spread the meringue over the hot lemon curd filling making sure that you touch the edges of the pie crust to seal the lemon curd.
- Bake the pie in the oven for 10 minutes or until the meringue topping is toasted. Allow to cool at room temp for 1.5-2 hours before slicing.
- Don’t make this on a humid day.
- It’s important to let it sit at room temp before cutting into it, about 1.5 or 2 hours at room temp.
- It’s important to blind bake your pie crust fully, and allow it to cool completely.
- Avoid Fat. The bowls and utensils must be free of any oil or water residue in order for the meringue to whip properly.
- Carefully separate eggs. Any egg yolks in the whites will ruin the meringue. Separate the eggs while they are cold, but let the yolks and whites come to room temperature before starting.
- Avoid overmixing the meringue. Stop as soon as stiff peaks form.
- The reason we make the meringue first is that we want to quickly add it to a hot lemon filling.
- Spread the meringue starting at the edges and working toward the center. Make sure that the meringue touches the outer edges of the crust to create a seal. This will keep the meringue from shrinking.
- Instead of baking the pie to toast the meringue, you can use a kitchen torch to get the same golden-brown result.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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