Easy Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

August 12, 2019
4 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 6 hours
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes one 9-inch pie
Author Notes

It’s hard to make anything with meringue on a humid day, so wait a bit for cooler weather (or bake this in a kitchen with great central air!). This easy lemon meringue pie recipe starts with a pre-made, blind-baked pie crust.

You can find the full step-by-step guide here: How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie.

For more stories, memories, and extended histories behind your most-loved, treasured family recipes from the column, check out our new podcast My Family Recipe.Katie Workman

What You'll Need
  • Lemon meringue pie
  • 1 9-inch pie crust (your favorite recipe, or store-bought)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 5 large egg yolks (you will use the whites for the meringue topping)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Meringue topping
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and blind-bake the pie crust (see Author Notes).
  2. Make the lemon filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly whisk in the water until the mixture is fairly smooth. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Simmer for another minute or two until it has thickened, then remove from the heat.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the hot sugar mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Then, also whisking constantly, slowly pour the yolk mixture back into the pot with the hot sugar mixture. Return the pan to medium heat and whisk in the 1/3 cup lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter. Return to a simmer, and simmer again for another 2 to 3 minutes until thick and smooth.
  4. Cool the filling for 5 minutes, then pour into the pre-baked pie crust.
  5. Make the meringue: Place the egg whites, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, cream of tartar, and salt into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Gradually sprinkle in the 2/3 cup sugar, beating all the while until incorporated, and just until stiff glossy peaks form. Do not overbeat.
  6. Spoon the meringue over the surface of the pie, making sure the entire filling is covered and that the topping touches the inner edges of the crust. Use the back of a spoon or a spatula (offset spatulas are great for this) to make nice swoopy waves in the meringue with some peaks.
  7. Bake until the meringue is lightly browned on the top edges of the waves, about 15 minutes. Place the pie on a wire rack to cool, and when it gets to room temperature, transfer it to the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • JK
  • Jeffdawson
Author of The Mom 100 Cookbook and themom100.com blog. A New Yorker, cook, and mom, I don't sit still very much.

2 Reviews

JK August 23, 2020
Took the time, and a lot of it to make a classic for a birthday event. I do realize I did take a chance, as there were no written reviews, just stars---but the end result was so unsatisfactory, had to run to the store just now to find a replacement on the fly...just terrible. Wasted time and energy and sliding it onto the trash was just a memory of a wasted afternoon...wasted pproductand now scrambling to find something to replace it when its needed in literally 1 hour from now. Never again, and be warned, as I did this to the note. I only did this particular recipe because the one I had saved/bookmarked that always came out wonderful, was lost during a PC replacement.
Jeffdawson October 17, 2023
So, explaining what was “unsatsfactory” with your pie would helpful. Without clues on texture, color, taste—a thumbs down points nowhere.