Lemon Mascarpone Pie With Meringue Anemones

June 28, 2021
7 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Cook time 55 minutes
  • Makes one 9-inch pie
Author Notes

This pie is a creamy twist on traditional lemon meringue. The filling is super easy to make, and the mascarpone makes the whole pie super rich and decadent tasting, even though it has fewer eggs than many lemon curd fillings may have. Be sure to check out the full article on how to make the meringue anemones. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: 4 Tricks to Be a Pie Overachiever. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Pie
  • 1 recipe for single-crust pie dough (my favorite is here: https://food52.com/recipes...)
  • 1 cup (226 g) fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 large (114 g) eggs
  • 3 large (81 g) egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (99 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (114 g) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
  • Meringue
  • 3 large (90 g) egg whites
  • 1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) water
  • Poppyseeds, as needed for finishing
  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Lightly flour the work surface. Roll out half of the dough into a circle 1/4-inch thick. To transfer the dough to the pie pan, roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, starting at the far edge of the round. With the pie pan in front of you, start at the edge closest to you and gently unfurl the dough into the pan. Press gently to make sure the crust settles all the way to the bottom, but be careful not to poke any holes in the dough. Trim away the excess dough, leaving a ½ inch overhang all around. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes, or freeze for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Tuck the excess dough under at the edges, pressing lightly to help “seal” the dough to the outer rim of the pie pan. Return the dough to the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes or to the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. Crimp the edges of the piecrust as desired (I used a fork to keep it simple since I was going crazy later with flowers).
  3. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Cut a square of parchment slightly larger than the pie pan. Place the parchment over the crust and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust on the stone or bottom rack just until the edges barely begin to turn golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the parchment and weights and return the pan to the oven for another 2 to 4 minutes, just until slightly more golden around the edges and the base looks dry. Let cool completely.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 375° F. To make the filling, whisk the lemon juice, eggs, egg yolks, sugar, mascarpone, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk well until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Pour into the cooled par-baked crust.
  6. Bake the pie until the custard is set at the edges—it may still have a slight jiggle in the very center, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely.
  7. To make the meringue, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment.
  8. Combine the sugar and water in a medium pot and stir over medium heat until it comes to a boil. When it begins to boil, stop stirring and attach a candy thermometer to the pot (if any sugar crystals have washed up on the sides, brush them away using a pastry brush dipped in cool water). Continue to cook the syrup until it reaches 240° F (final desired temperature).
  9. As soon as the sugar hits 230° F, begin whipping the egg whites on medium-high speed. The goal is to have the egg whites at soft peaks when the sugar reaches the 240° F.
  10. With the mixer running, add the sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream. Continue to whip on high speed until the mixture reaches stiff peaks and the bowl is no longer noticeably warm to the touch. The meringue should be smooth and glossy, not clumpy or dry.
  11. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a rose tip (such as Ateco #127). If you have one, it can be helpful to place the pie plate on a cake turntable. If not, you can just turn it on your work surface while you pipe. Hold the bag so the tip is almost parallel to the surface of the pie.
  12. Each petal is piped almost in the shape of a heart. Be sure the wider side of the tip is facing toward the center of where you’d like the flower to be, and the thinner side is facing outward (this makes the more delicate outer edge of the petal). Apply gentle pressure to the bag while you move your wrist to create a heart shape – this is the first petal. Start the next petal where the first one ends—it’s ok if they overlap a little! Repeat the process until you have five petals total.
  13. Repeat the process until you’ve piped as many flowers as you like. Gently spoon poppyseeds into the center to create the seed heads.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Erin Jeanne McDowell
    Erin Jeanne McDowell
  • Sofia
  • Becky Lyn
    Becky Lyn
  • Ash
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

13 Reviews

Sofia March 15, 2021
Whoops, I put my question under a diff question haha.
I was thinking about making this pie for Easter to bring to my grandparents house, but they live two hours away and so I would have to make it a day before. Would it be okay to make in advance or should I pipe the meringue on when I get there? I was also thinking possibly putting the meringue under the broiler for a little bit to brown it slightly and maybe set it up so it doesn't melt on the way. Thoughts?
Becky L. March 14, 2021
Made this with my daughter for Pi day. We made it with the cookie crust. It was delicious!
Ash June 6, 2018
Thanks. I'll give it another try
Ash June 6, 2018
Just read all the comments. Maybe update the recipe if we are supposed to maybe add another egg.
Erin J. June 6, 2018
So sorry you had troubles too! After all these comments I revisited it again. Mine still set up the way it was originally written, but I tested an additional version with less lemon juice and an additional egg - and it was lovely, and still had the tart/creamy combo! Sorry you had issues and thanks for helping me make this recipe a better/easier one!
Erin J. June 6, 2018
Oh! And just to be clear, the recipe has now been altered here, should you want to give it another go!
Ash June 6, 2018
My pie never set.. I feel like it's too much juice. I cooked it for 45 mins. Any way to save it.
Louisa June 2, 2018
I just made this and I had the same problem as the previous commenter. My filling never set up, it was way too runny. Could the amount of lemon juice be incorrect? The amount of lemon juice feels like a lot compared to the amount of sugar and eggs. Really disappointed, never even got to try to make the meringue flowers.
Erin J. June 4, 2018
Hi there! So sorry you had issues. Did you by any chance weigh your ingredients or were you using volume measures? I discovered another person recently needed to use an additional 1 egg to get the custard to set up - but following the weight measurements, the recipe should set up, no problem!
Louisa June 4, 2018
Thanks for your reply! I used volume measures. I'll have to try again, weighing my ingredients. I'm thinking that the eggs were the problem as well, I used large eggs, but have noticed in the past that the yolks are small. I'm guessing an extra egg or egg yolk would make a huge difference.
Audrey R. June 1, 2018
This recipe didn't work at all! It was in the oven for almost an hour and was still super jiggly and loose. I was forced to take it out because the crust was burning on the bottom and the filling was bubbling over and leaking everywhere. I was super excited about this recipe and spent a lot of time prepping and chilling the crust. Now it's ruined. Really disappointed.
Erin J. June 4, 2018
So sorry you had troubles. Check out my comment above to see if that could help - I promise this recipe is delicious when it sets up right!
Audrey R. June 4, 2018
Okay I'll do that, thanks for your reply!