Lemon Meringue Pie is a dessert that has a lemon custard filling and fluffy meringue topping with just the right blend of sweet and tart! Love lemon but not ready to tackle meringue? Try my Lemon Pie for a refreshing, summertime dessert!
Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie is an all-American pie that has been called a lemon cream pie or lemon custard pie within the last 200 years. Since some versions of this recipe use up to nine egg yolks, the egg whites had to be used somewhere, so why not in the meringue? It was a great way to not waste any ingredients.
This would be a classic dessert to serve anytime, but especially on the 4th of July (for America’s Independence Day) or August 15th, which just happens to be National Lemon Meringue Pie Day!
Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe
There are two important parts to this recipe–the lemon filling and the meringue. I used a store-bought pie crust, but you could definitely make your own homemade pie crust or even use a shortbread or graham cracker crust if you prefer.
Pie Filling Ingredients (full recipe below)
- Granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Egg yolks–Be sure to reserve the egg whites from these eggs to use in the meringue.
- 9-inch pie crust–Pre-baked
- Egg whites
- Granulated sugar
How to Make the Pie Filling
To make the lemon pie filling:
- Whisk together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan.
- Add the milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the pan, stirring it all together over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.
- Add the butter, continuing to whisk until the butter melts into the rest of the mixture. Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture and set it aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, slowly whisk the half cup of reserved sugar mixture with the egg yolks. Add this to the saucepan and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly to thicken the mixture. After it has come to a boil, remove it from the heat and pour it into the pre-baked pie crust.
How to Make Meringue
To make the meringue, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until they become foamy. Don’t forget to use the egg whites from the eggs you used for the pie filling. Add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks are sharp peaks that can stand on their own even after the beater has been removed. Spread the meringue over the pie filling.
Bake the pie in the oven for about 20 minutes. The meringue will turn a golden brown. Chill for 4 hours before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.
How to Prevent Weeping
One of the biggest issues people have with Meringue pies is “weeping”. That is when the egg whites shrink and some droplets of moisture appear on the surface of your pie. They won’t hurt you but they don’t look great. Here are a few great ways to make sure your pie turns out perfectly each time.
- Overbaking – cook your pie low and slow and always check your pie at the minimum baking time
- Undissolved sugar – Be sure that your sugar is completely dissolved by mixing egg whites and sugar on low speed until smooth. Rub a little bit of this between your fingers, and if it feels grainy at all, the sugar is not fully dissolved.
- Cooled filling – Don’t let your filling cool before topping it with meringue. When you pour on the meringue onto the pie filling, the filling should be hot. The heat from the filling will help seal the meringue onto the filling and make it less likely to weep.
- Unsealed edges – Make sure that you push the meringue all the way out to the edge of the pie.
Looking for More Lemon Desserts?
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 7 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups (735g) whole milk
- 5 medium lemons, juiced and zested
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 large egg yolks, beaten, with egg whites reserved
- 1 9-inch pie crust, baked
- 8 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a saucepan add sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt and whisk together
Add milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the pan. Stir to combine and place over medium-high heat, stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.
Add butter, whisking to melt into the mixture.
Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside.
In a medium bowl, slowly whisk the reserved 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture in with the egg yolks.
Add the egg mixture back into the saucepan.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened.
Remove from heat and pour into a pre-baked pie crust.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Slowly add in sugar, beating constantly until stiff peaks form.
Spread Meringue over pie filling.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes (meringue will turn golden brown).
Chill for 4 hours.