This Classic Lemon Meringue Pie has a perfect tart filling, not too tart, not too sweet, and it’s topped with classic homemade meringue.  I like an equal ratio of meringue to pie filling, but feel free to pile it as high as you want!  Oh, and a homemade crust serves as the vehicle of choice to transfer it to your mouth.  It’s tartly delicious!!

Lemon Meringue Pie.

There’s just something about lemons, the bright yellow color, the fresh tangy juice and the tart smell that brings your senses alive and makes you think Spring.  This Lemon Meringue Pie will definitely put you in a Spring mood!

I’ve been making Lemon Meringue Pie for decades, and after years of trial and error,  I’ve come up with the perfect balance of sweet and tart…at least that’s what my taste buds tell me.  Now I want to share my recipe with you, so you don’t have to go through the trial and error phase.  It’s really very simple to make a Lemon Meringue Pie with perfect results.

First things first…

If you’ve never juiced or zested a lemon, here is a great little tutorial on how to do it, and how to get the most juice from your lemon.

What makes a perfect lemon meringue pie?

  • A perfect flaky pie crust
  • A perfect tart filling that’s not too runny or thick…perfect slicing.
  • A perfect meringue that doesn’t weep or shrink
Lemon Meringue Pie.

Perfect pie crust

When making any type of pie that requires cooking the filling on the stove top versus baking in the oven, it’s important to pre-bake the pie crust prior to making the filling.  Some recipes call for partially pre-baking the pie crust but in this recipe, the pie crust should be pre-baked until done.

Perfect pie filling

The perfect lemon pie filling has to consist of 2 things, the perfect amount of tartness.  I hate a sweet lemon pie filling.  I want to know that the lemon is there.  I want to taste the freshness and tartness of the lemon juice and zest.  I add just enough sugar to take away a little bit of the pucker if you know what I mean.  The filling must be creamy yet stable.  It’s important to have the important ratio of cornstarch, (for thickening), to liquid for a very creamy texture, yet thick enough to be able to slice through once it’s cooled.

Filling Ingredients

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest

Filling Instructions

  1. Whisk together the egg yolks in a large 2 cup measuring cup or bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the water, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat. Slowly pour about half of the hot mixture into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. This is called tempering. Whisk vigorously for about 1 minute. Add the mixture back to the pan and return to medium heat. Bring back to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add the butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix well. Pour filling into pre-baked pie shell and set aside.  Click here  to see how to pre-bake a pie crust.

Perfect Meringue

Pro tips for making perfect meringue

  • Start with a very clean and dry mixing bowl.
  • Use room temperature egg whites. Note: Egg separate easier when they are cold. Egg whites whip up with more volume when they are at room temperature.
  • Add cream of tartar.  Cream of Tartar stabilizes the egg whites, so they don’t break down.
  • Make sure when you divide the egg yolks and whites, there’s absolutely no trace of egg yolk in with the whites.
  • Beat the egg whites until they are foamy before adding the sugar.  Add the sugar gradually while beating the whites.
  • Beat egg whites until they have stiff shiny peaks, but not dry.

Here are a couple of tips for preventing your meringue from shrinking and weeping

  • Spread the meringue over hot pie filling.  A hot filling helps to cook the underneath of the meringue and keeps it from weeping.
  • Spread the meringue all the way to the edges of the filling, touching the edge of the crust.  This adheres the meringue to the filling and keeps it from shrinking.
Lemon Meringue Pie.

More delicious lemon recipes you might like…

Lemon Custard Ice Cream 

Moist & Tangy Lemon Loaf Cake  

Vintage Lemon Angel Pie

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes  

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake 

Lemon Cake Custard 

Search LEMON in my search box for many more lemon recipes!

If you make this recipe please rate it, and leave a comment below on how you liked it. I love getting your feedback! 🙂

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Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

  • Author: Cindy Gibbs @ My Country Table
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 Minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Lemon Meringue PIe is just like the one your Grandma made!  It has a tart lemony filling with a homemade meringue topping and it’s made in a homemade pie crust.  Delicious!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Lemon Filling

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1 9 inch pie shell pre-baked

Meringue

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar


Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lemon Filling:

  1. Whisk together the egg yolks in a large 2 cup measuring cup or bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the water, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat. Slowly pour about half of the hot mixture into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. This is called tempering. Whisk vigorously for about 1 minute. Add the mixture back to the pan and return to medium heat. Bring back to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add the butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix well. Pour filling into pre-baked pie shell and set aside.  Click here  to see how to pre-bake a pie crust.

Meringue

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

  1. Place pie with filling in the oven while preparing the egg whites.  It’s important to place the meringue on hot pie filling.  The hot filling helps to cook the underneath of the meringue.
  2. Place the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer.  Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and gradually add the sugar.  Beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. Spread the meringue over the hot pie filling.  Spread meringue all the way to the edges of crust, ensuring that meringue touches the crust.  This keep the meringue from shrinking.  Use a spoon to make scallops or swirls in the meringue to your liking.
  4. Turn oven to broil.  Place pie in the oven under the broiler.  Watch very closely.  Once the meringue starts to have patches of golden brown on top, immediately remove from oven.  This only takes a minute or two so watch carefully.
  5. Allow pie to cool completely and refrigerate until pie is cold and firm enough to slice.

Notes

Cook time does not include pre-baking pie crust.  If you want to make a homemade pie crust, see my recipe for Aunt Elsie’s Flaky Piecrust.

Keywords: pie, lemon pie, lemon meringue pie, pie recipes, lemon, lemon pie, lemon desserts,