This easy homemade lemon meringue pie is delightfully tart and sweet. It’s vibrant and bursting with a lovely fresh lemon flavor and topped with a billowy cloud of toasted meringue. A lemon meringue pie on a wooden board with flowers and cut lemons around it.

We had our first snowfall this week and the days are feeling shorter. The sun doesn’t rise until about 7:30 am and it sets around 5 pm, so I wanted to bake something that was bright, light, and fresh. What better dessert to fit that description than a classic lemon meringue pie. To me, a good lemon meringue pie is like a slice of sunshine.

A slice of mile-high lemon meringue pie on a black plate with the rest of the pie behind it.

Why this recipe is so great:

  • Made from scratch – All 3 components of this pie are made from scratch, but with minimal ingredients and effort.
  • Simple flaky pie crust – The pie crust is only 4 ingredients. It’s all made by hand and there is no chilling required. You just mix, roll, and bake!
  • Easy lemony filling – There is no tempering of the eggs with this recipe, which makes it a whole lot easier to prepare. You simply cook everything over the stovetop until thickened.
  • Mile-high meringue topping – The meringue is also only 4 ingredients and makes enough for a mile-high and impressive meringue pie. Then it’s baked in the oven until golden to ensure the egg whites are heated through for safety.

How to make lemon meringue pie:

Preparing the crust

two pictures showing how to blind bake a pie

  • Start by placing a large piece of aluminum foil in a 9″ pie plate. Shape the foil to the pie plate so that once you have your pie crust in the plate, you can easily place the foil on top without having to press it down and potentially tearing your crust. Remove the foil and set aside.
  • Prepare the crust as instructed and fit it into the pie plate.
  • Place the aluminum foil on top and fill it 2/3 of the way with pie weights, dried beans, uncooked rice, or coins.
  • Bake at 425F for about 10-15 minutes until the edges start to brown. Grab the foil by all 4 corners, lift and remove. Poke the bottom of the crust haphazardly with the tines of a fork. Place back in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until the bottom looks dry. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Making the lemon filling

a picture collage of lemon pie filling in a saucepan and in a pie

  • In a large saucepan, toss together the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in the water, egg yolks, and lemon juice. Bring to a gentle boil over the stovetop while stirring constantly with the whisk. Continue to cook for another minute until thick and translucent.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the butter and lemon zest.
  • Pour the hot filling into your partially baked pie crust. Set aside somewhere to keep the pie filling warm. Keeping it warm will help prevent the meringue from separating from the layer of filling. I usually place it on top of my stove (with the stove off) because the top of my stove stays warm after the oven has been on.

Making the meringue

A picture of a stiff peak meringue on a whisk and on top of a pie

  • Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed until soft peaks form.
  • Add in the vanilla and increase the speed to medium. Slowly add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating just until glossy and stiff peaks form.
  • Spoon the meringue on top of the filling and spread to the edges, making sure to touch the crust. This will help prevent the meringue from shrinking. Spread and mound the rest of the meringue in the center to create a dome. Use the back of a spoon to create some dramatic swirls if desired.
  • Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes until golden. Cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge uncovered for 2 hours to firm up. Serve immediately or carefully cover until ready to serve.
  • Lemon meringue pie is best enjoyed the same day.

How to store:

Place in a large cake container with a lid or insert a couple of toothpicks into the meringue and drape a large piece of plastic wrap over the top (try to avoid touching the meringue) and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Please note that the meringue will start to weep and separate over time. A cross section of a homemade lemon meringue pie on a wooden board.

The flavor of this lemon meringue pie is bold, zesty, tangy, and sweet. The addition of vanilla to the meringue adds a marshmallowy candy-like taste to it. The texture of the meringue is soft and airy. The lemon filling is smooth and luscious. The pie is all held together by a tender and flaky crust.

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Lemon Meringue Pie


  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 25 min
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10

Description

This easy homemade lemon meringue pie is delightfully tart and sweet. It’s vibrant and bursting with a lovely fresh lemon flavor and topped with a billowy cloud of toasted meringue.


Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour, twice sifted
  • ½ tsp (2.5g) salt
  • ½ cup (125ml) vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup (62ml) milk

Filling

  • 1⅓ cups (265g) sugar
  • ⅓ cup (40g) cornstarch
  • 1&1/2 cups (375ml) lukewarm water
  • 5 yolks from 5 large eggs
  • ½ cup (125ml) lemon juice (grate zest first)
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter

Meringue

  • 5 egg whites from 5 large eggs
  • ½ tsp (2.5ml) cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (150g) sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Fit a large piece of aluminum foil into a 9″ pie plate. Remove the foil and set both aside.
  2. Sift the flour twice, then whisk in the salt and create a well in the center.
  3. Pour in the oil, then milk and stir everything together. If the dough seems too dry, add 1-2 tbsp of milk.
  4. Once the dough starts to form, finish working it by gently kneading it on a sheet of wax paper.
  5. Roll out between 2 sheets of wax paper. Remove the top sheet of wax paper. Use the bottom sheet to lift and flip the dough onto the pie plate. Fit the crust onto the plate and finish the edges as desired.
  6. Place the foil on top and fill 2/3 of the way full with pie weights.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges start to brown. Grab the foil by all 4 corners, lift and remove.
  8. Poke the bottom of the crust haphazardly with the tines of a fork. Place back in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until the bottom looks dry. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven to 350F.
  9. In a large saucepan, toss together the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in the water, egg yolks, and lemon juice. Bring to a gentle boil over the stovetop while whisking constantly. Continue to cook for another minute until thick and translucent.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and lemon zest.
  11. Pour the hot filling into your partially baked pie crust. Set aside somewhere to keep warm.
  12. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed until soft peaks form.
  13. Add in the vanilla and increase the speed to medium. Slowly add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating just until glossy and stiff peaks form.
  14. Spoon the meringue on top of the filling and spread to the edges, making sure to touch the crust. This will help prevent the meringue from shrinking. Spread and mound the rest of the meringue in the center to create a dome. Use the back of a spoon to create some dramatic swirls if desired.
  15. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge uncovered for 2 hours to firm up. Serve immediately or carefully cover until ready to serve. Best to enjoy the day it’s made.

Notes

Leftovers can be placed in a large cake container with a lid or insert a couple of toothpicks into the meringue and drape a large piece of plastic wrap over the top (try to avoid touching the meringue) and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Please note that the meringue will start to weep and separate over time. Best consumed as soon as possible.

  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lemon meringue pie recipe, easy lemon meringue pie

This easy homemade lemon meringue pie has a fresh lemon filling that is tangy, sweet and just bursting with flavor. It's topped with a lovely and fluffy meringue.

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