Lemon Meringue Pie

December 1st, 2008 by katie

I have been making this Lemon Meringue Pie for a few years now and it has become a family favorite. The creamy lemon curd is just sour enough and the fluffy vanilla meringue is light and sweet. Lemon pie is refreshing in the summer but it’s lightness also makes it a great holiday dessert eaten after any one of the big feasts. When I first attempted this pie I used Alton Brown’s recipe and method. The pie tasted delicious but it never set and it was a lot of work! So I changed the method to be a one pot recipe (you do make the meringue in a separate bowl) and now I don’t have to worry about my egg yolks curdling or having my pie set up properly.

This is a great, easy from scratch pie that is delicious and impressive! It is my most requested pie and I make it several times a year.

Old Fashioned Lemon Meringue Pie

prep 10 min, cook 10 min, chill over night
  • 1 prepared and baked pie crust
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup water, divided, boil 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 3 tbsp butter, chopped into bits
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Prepare and bake a single pie crust. Heat oven to 375ยบF.
  2. In a medium saucepan (without heat) combine dry ingredients, cornstarch, sugar, and salt.
  3. Add 1/2 cup cold water and lemon juice, whisk to combine until smooth.
  4. Beat egg yolks thoroughly and add to liquid in pan.
  5. Boil remaining cup of water and add to pan, whisking until smooth. Turn on heat to medium high.
  6. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Once thick, turn heat to medium and simmer, stirring constantly, for another minute or until well-gelled.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in butter and lemon zest. Pour into pie shell.
  8. Beat egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar until soft peaks.
  9. Add sugar and vanilla, continue beating until stiff peaks.
  10. Spread meringue over hot filling all the way to the crust.
  11. Bake pie for 8 to 10 minutes or until meringue is golden.
  12. Cool on a wire rack until room temperature then chill over night in the fridge.

If you have extra egg whites sitting around you can add them for an even bigger meringue. I added the leftover egg whites from the chocolate pie to this one and it made a lovely pillowy meringue, but it’s not necessary to crack extra eggs just for this. The original four make a nice thick layer-the perfect offset to the tangy pie, especially if you have non-meringue lovers around. Although if they are like me this pie will change their mind!

What’s for dinner this week?

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Posted in Desserts, Things I Love

12 Responses

  1. noble pig

    I love this pie, it just looks so delicious! I bet it disappears fast, glad you got a picture.

  2. ambitious

    This looks amazing!!! Do you have a good crust recipe that I could make? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I actually did make all of my own crusts this year, but for some reason, of all five pies this one was the biggest FAIL. It was rock hard and nearly inedible. Most years I use the Pillsbury crust from the refrigerator aisle and it is just fine. I will keep working on the crust thing though (the blueberry pie’s crust was delicious-same recipe, go figure) and keep you posted. -Katie

  3. DD

    This is one of my favorites but I always get tripped up by meringue. This does look simple enough though and old-fashioned which is the best!

  4. michelle @ TNS

    that’s a fine looking piece of pie. lemon meringue is brian’s favorite. he missed out on a b’day cake this year because it fell the day after thanksgiving and everyone was in a food coma, so make i’ll make it up to him with one of these.

  5. Jean

    I haven’t seen a pie this enticing since I was a kid!

  6. Lainie Petersen

    Not only is it gorgeous, but you have developed a non-intimidating recipe to boot! I can’t wait to try it.

  7. Marilyn

    hope you like

  8. M

    Thank you. After 4 attempts at Alton’s recipe, all of which had the same problem of runny custard and weeping meringue, I tried yours and it set perfectly the first time (with 3 hours of fridge chilling), and even 24 hours later there is still no weeping. Kudos for figuring it out, I’ll be keeping your recipe from now on.

  9. Susie

    Do you know why sugar and lemon juice are added after the mixture for the filling has thickened and not before?
    This is for a school project that I have to do
    Thank You

    The sugar and lemon juice are added before the mixture is thickened. They are added to the cold pan along with the cornstarch, then heated to thicken. I don’t know all of the science but it has to do with how cornstarch thickens liquids. Good Luck! -katie

  10. Sheena

    I also couldn’t get Alton Brown’s recipe to set. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy your version was. It turned out just like the picture! And my boyfriend has claimed the leftovers as his for breakfast. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Shannon L

    I am going to be making this recipe tonight for my father for father’s day. Hopefully it will turn out great! Thanks a lot for the recipe!

  12. Missy May

    I will definitely try this recipe! It looks delicious and sounds relatively simple. I’m a new baker and am not yet ready for intimidating recipes! ๐Ÿ™‚ We have a lemon tree with a ton of lemons, and I thought I would try baking a lemon meringue pie for Thanksgiving. It turned out more like pudding, but the meringue was good! I’m sure I’ll have more success with your recipe.

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About chaos

chaยทos -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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