How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie

When life gives you lemons ... make this lemon meringue pie. Really, it is totally delicious. With fluffy peaks and a sweet, crunchy crust, this easy pie is asking to be the centerpiece at the dessert table.

It's all about the filling when it comes to lemon meringue pie. Watch as our Test Kitchen expert helps you make the best-ever lemon pie, complete with light and fluffy meringue.

Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Good to Know: 

Don't cry over your lemon pie: Work quickly to get the meringue spread onto the piping-hot pie filling. This helps the underside of the meringue to cook at the same rate as the top, so it won't form a layer of water between the meringue and filling (called "weeping"). 

Once you've mastered this meringue, try some of our other cream pie recipes!


1 recipe Baked Pastry Shell (below)

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

4 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel

1-1/4 cups water

3/4 cup lemon juice

9 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1/3 cup butter, cut up

1 recipe Meringue for Pie (below)

Step 1: Make Filling

Prepare Baked Pastry Shell; set aside.

For filling, in a 2-quart saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in lemon peel, water, and lemon juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir half of the hot lemon mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Return egg mixture to saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture comes to a gentle boil. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. 

Add butter pieces, stirring until melted. Cover filling; keep warm.

Step 2: Spread Meringue

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare Meringue for Pie (recipe below). 

Spread hot filling into Baked Pastry Shell (recipe below). Immediately spread meringue over filling, carefully sealing to edge of pastry. Using the back of a spoon, add high peaks to the meringue. 

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Chill for 5 to 6 hours before serving; cover for longer storage. Makes 8 servings. 

Meringue for Pie

Allow 5 egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a very large mixing bowl combine egg whites, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed for 6 minutes or until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks (tips stand up straight) and sugar dissolves. 

Baked Pastry Shell


1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

4 to 5 tablespoons cold water


1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea size. 

2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over part of flour mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened pastry to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening flour mixture, using 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until all of the flour mixture is moistened. Form pastry into a ball.

3. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten pastry. Roll pastry from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.

4. Wrap pastry circle around rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate without stretching it. 

5. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp edge as desired. Prick bottom and sides of pastry with a fork. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. 

More Pie, More Fun!

How to Make Pie (Even Better!)

Many cream pie recipes call for tempered eggs -- we help you master this simple technique. The result is super-smooth custards, pie fillings, and puddings.

1 Comment

  1. years ago (back in the 40's) you had a recipe that included lemon juice in the meringue. where can I find that recipe

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