Lemon Meringue Pie

By • March 4, 2014 15 Comments

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Author Notes: In this recipe for classic lemon meringue pie a quick stovetop filling, packed full of zingy lemon zest and a bit of butter for richness is topped with luxurious swiss meringue. I prefer swiss meringue, which is made by cooking the egg whites and sugar over a double boiler, in this recipe because it very stable. There’s nothing more sad than a fallen meringue.
This recipe makes a very generous amount of meringue, if you’d like a more moderate amount try 3 egg whites and ? cup sugar or 4 egg whites and ¾ cup sugar.
Yossy Arefi

Makes one 9-inch pie


  • 1 pre-baked 9-inch pie crust
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons lemon zest

Swiss Meringue

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. For the filling: In a medium saucepan combine cornstarch, water, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Whisk until no lumps remain in the cornstarch and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 75 seconds. The mixture will be clear and very thick.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl and slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the egg yolks while stirring constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat while stirring constantly for 60 more seconds. Be careful not to let the mixture boil at this stage.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter and lemon zest. Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell and cover the filling with a piece of parchment or waxed paper. This will help the meringue and filling adhere later. Set it in the refrigerator while you prepare the Swiss meringue.
  4. For the meringue: Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl of the stand mixer over a double boiler and cook, stirring occasionally, until the egg whites are very warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Preheat your broiler. While the broiler is heating, whip the egg whites on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Add in the salt and vanilla extract and whip to combine well.
  6. Remove the parchment paper from the pie filling then carefully spread the meringue on top of the lemon filling in a decorative pattern. Make sure to spread the meringue all of the way to the crust.
  7. Carefully slide the pie under the broiler and cook for 20 to 60 seconds, or until the meringue is golden brown with some deeply caramelized spots. Remove the pie from the oven and cool completely in the refrigerator before slicing and serving. This pie is best served the day that it is made.
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Comments (15) Questions (0)


about 1 month ago Rose Morelli

Hi Bill. Don't add sugar to the whites until they are beaten until foamy. Then add sugar slowly.


about 1 month ago Bill Masters

But the recipe said..... LOL

It's going to taste good, but won't be traditional foamy meringue.


about 1 month ago Bill Masters

This was my second time doing meringue - the last time was like 10 years ago. I was worried about the cooking part - and well - my meringue turned into marshmallow. It was not fluffy at all. The boyfriend said it should have creme of tartar but the recipe didn't call for it.

I let the egg whites get warm and the sugar melted a bit. I beat with a hand mixer for about 15 minutes and it never fluffed up. So I took off the wisk attachment and put on regular beaters and it got fluffier and denser but not like typical meringue. So I have a lemon pie with a marshmellow topping. LOL

Can someone give some tips on what I did wrong?




about 1 month ago Rose Morelli

I have a great meringue recipe that keeps the meringue from shrinking and weeping and is almost burn proof.
1 Tbs. of cornstarch
1/2 cup water
3-4 eggwhites
3/4 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbs. sugar

Cook cornstarch and water until bubbling. Can use microwave.
Beat egg whites until foamy, then add sugar slowly till soft peaks form. Add vanilla and hot cornstarch as whites are beating. Top pie and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 12 to 15 minutes.


5 months ago Ida-Maria Skavhaug

I think I left it under the grill/broiler for a little longer than I should. It looks perfect, but when I touch the meringue it feels a little rubbery... Ops?


7 months ago Rayna

Awesome! Made for xmas...less sugar? And make sure it sets in fridge!


7 months ago Jacob

So i've made this recipe countless times and it always turns out wonderfully. But I was wondering if I just subbed out the citrus zest/juice for the same amounts would the recipe still work out? Because I was interested in making a clementine meringue pie.


11 months ago Petite fee

p.s. If I lessen the sugar in the meringué will it affect it from being gorgeous? I thought it was too sweet.


11 months ago Petite fee

First-timer...so do I whip the egg whites while it is still on the boiler or take it off then whip it? and 'cook' on low, medium or high temp? And where should the oven rack be...middle bottom for broiling the meringué?
Awesome filling flavor and consistency but wrecked the meringué by letting it sit too long on the boiler (bottom layer almost scrambled) and burnt from being in the broiler too long and close. Ugly and disappointing but yummy filling!
I shall try it again and will triumph!!
Thanks for the recette!


4 months ago Aaron

You warm the egg whites and sugar using the double boiler until the sugar is dissolved, then remove from heat and whip into meringue. You whisk while warming the eggs to keep them from cooking, but at that point are not trying to create meringue.


about 1 year ago Vickie

Yum, that looks like heaven to me - I think I'll make that this weekend. Can't wait!


about 1 year ago Emme

About to make this baby but where did the pie recipe that the author had put a link to here? It looked good, had apple cider in it...?


over 1 year ago Lauren

This pie was incredible! It was the perfect combination of tart & sweet. My family raved about it! The lemon filling was to-die-for as was the caramelized meringue. I used 4 Egg whites and that was just the right amount. I am archiving this recipe and will make it again and again. Thanks!!


over 1 year ago JadeTree

This is a fragrant, luscious and delicious pie! I'm an experienced home baker, but have never made meringue before, so I was a bit anxious at that stage. However, it came together as simply and beautifully as the recipe states. As an interesting note, I used organic sugar in the entire recipe and that does prevent the meringue from turning that gorgeous snow white that you see in pictures - it's more of a pale almond color. However, this didn't make a bit of difference to me, especially once I broiled the pie. It was a hit. Thank you.


over 1 year ago Dave Puhlman

I'm a huge fan of lemon pie and this didn't disappoint! It is a bit more involved than some other recipes I've seen but paid off big. One thing strange was that when I tried to whip the egg whites they never came together after about 10 minutes. I got four new whites and started again and it worked fine. Not sure if it was because of heating them up which I skipped the second time.