Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Calling all lemon lovers! This lemon meringue pie recipe is a dessert lover's dream come true. It's got a crunchy, sweet graham crust that pairs perfectly with its tart, melt-in-your-mouth lemon filling, and to top it all off, this pie has a pillow-y, marshmallow-like meringue that just seals the deal. The contrast of flavors and textures here is simply amazing, each one complementing the next. 

The true plus side to this dessert is that it's not too filling, so no matter how full you are from dinner, you can't possibly say no to a slice. With the meringue so airy and the lemon curd a hint tart, a slice of this pie is nothing but refreshing. Just be sure you're ready to eat like a champion or share a few slices, as this pie tastes best the same day it's made and doesn't hold well.

Follow along as Chef Tara Rylie of RylieCakes walks you through the tips and tricks of how to make this lemon meringue pie.

Make the perfect pie crust for this lemon meringue pie recipe

Preparing this pie crust for this lemon meringue pie recipe is easy breezy. Simply place your graham crackers, sugar, and almonds in a food processor and pulse until a fine crumb forms. Then, add your melted butter and continue to pulse until the crumb pulls together and it all looks moist. At this point, you can pour the crumb mixture into your prepared pan and press it down firmly into the base of the pan and up the sides.

The trick to a great pie crust is letting it refrigerate for thirty minutes, allowing time for the fat to firm up. Once it's firm to touch, you can cover your pie crust with parchment paper and place pie weights on top. If you don't have pie weights, you can use dry beans, dry rice, or an eight-inch cake pan in their place. The point of pie weights is to help the crust hold its shape while baking. Without them, crusts would shrink and come away from the edges of the pan.

When ready, par-bake your crust for twenty minutes and then let it cool as you create your lemon filling.

Prep your filling ingredients for this lemon meringue pie recipe

While your crust is cooling, begin your filling by preparing all the ingredients for this lemon meringue pie recipe. First, whisk egg yolks together in a medium bowl and set them aside. The bowl should seem too large for your egg yolks, as this leaves room for tempering later on.

Next, combine your water, one cup sugar, third of a cup of cornstarch, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook this mixture for approximately five minutes while whisking occasionally. When your mixture begins to bubble and thicken, you'll know it's done. Your mixture will be gel-like, but don't worry — after you get those egg yolks in there, it will look so much better!

How to temper yolks for this lemon meringue pie recipe

Tempering can be a tricky step in this lemon meringue pie recipe, and that is why it is important to have all your ingredients prepared ahead of time. Decrease your heat to low so that the mixture on the stove doesn't continue to cook and thicken. Then, scoop out about half of cup of the warm mixture and slowly stream it into your egg yolks while whisking the two vigorously to combine them. This is called tempering. You are bringing the egg yolks to the same temperature as your mixture so that when you add them to the warm mixture, the eggs don't cook.

Once you've tempered your yolks, go ahead and slowly steam your egg yolk mixture back into your saucepan, again, whisking constantly as you do so. Once combined, increase your heat to medium-low and continue to cook the mixture until its edges start to boil. This will sort of look like bubbles are popping at the surface.

Fill your prepared crust for this lemon meringue pie recipe

When you're ready, remove your filling from the heat and whisk in two tablespoons of butter. Then, pour your warm lemon filling into your par-baked pie crust. If your crust is not completely cool, it's totally okay, as this will not affect your filling or crust. Set the pie aside and begin your meringue topping immediately. You want your filling to be as warm as possible when you top it off with the meringue, as the heat from the filling will help seal the two layers together. If you feel skilled enough, you can always have your filling and meringue going at the same time.

How to make a meringue for this lemon meringue pie recipe

The most important thing you can do in this lemon meringue pie recipe is have your meringue ingredients measured out and ready to go so that when your filling is done, you can immediately turn your attention to whipping up the meringue. This recipe walks you through making a meringue in two quick steps. However, if you'd like more guidance on how to create the perfect meringue, our recipes for meringues and pavlova will walk you through the process step by step.

The key to marshmallowy merginue in this lemon meringue pie recipe

The difference between a run-of-the-mill meringue and an extra fluffy, marshmallow-y meringue comes down to two ingredients: cornstarch and vinegar. Once you've whipped your meringue to firm peaks, you'll fold in a little of both cornstarch and distilled white vinegar. We know this sound odd and you don't want a vinegar-like taste in your dessert, but trust us, you won't even taste the vinegar, and the texture of your meringue will be mind-blowing!

Finally ready to bake this lemon meringue pie recipe

When the meringue for this lemon meringue pie recipe is ready, dollop it on top of your filling and use a small offset spatula or spoon to spread it out. Make sure the meringue touches the edges of the crust all around the pie pan, as this will help your meringue from weeping after it's baked. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until the meringue is starting to look toasty. 

The hardest part of this lemon meringue pie recipe is the wait

When you're done, instead of removing the pie from the oven, simply turn off the heat and crack open the door. This allows the lemon meringue pie recipe to slowly come down to room temperature, which will help it to avoid cracking. After thirty minutes, move your pie to a wire cooling rack and let it cool fully to room temperature. And finally, one last cooling step: Place your pie in the refrigerator uncovered and let it set for two to three hours before slicing and serving.

Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe
5 from 59 ratings
Calling all lemon lovers! This lemon meringue pie recipe is a dessert lover's dream. It's got a crunchy graham crust that pairs perfectly with its tart filling.
Prep Time
Cook Time
lemon meringue pie recipe sliced
Total time: 4 hours, 30 minutes
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) graham crackers
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar, divided
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) + 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 5 eggs, yolks + whites separated
  • 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) water
  • ⅓ cup + ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temp
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.
  2. Prepare pie crust by placing graham crackers, ¼ cup sugar, and almonds in a food processor. Pulse until fine crumb forms. Melt one stick butter and add to food processor. Pulse on high until crumb looks moist and starts to pull together. Pour crumb mixture into prepared pan, and press firmly and evenly into base and up sides of pan.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm to touch. Place parchment over crust, place pie weights on top of parchment (or use an 8-inch cake pan in place of weights), and par-bake crust for 20 minutes. Let crust cool slightly before removing pie weights and filling with curd.
  4. While crust is cooling, prepare filling by whisking egg yolks together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  5. Combine water, 1 cup sugar, ⅓ cup cornstarch, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, whisking occasionally until mixture is bubbling and thick, almost gel-like.
  6. Decrease heat to low and temper mixture with egg yolks by slowly streaming approximately half a cup of lemon mixture into egg yolks while whisking vigorously. Then, slowly pour tempered mixture back into heated lemon mixture, whisking constantly. Once combined, increase heat to medium-low and continue to cook mixture until edges start to boil.
  7. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until combined. Pour filling into par-baked pie crust and set aside.
  8. Begin meringue topping by placing egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  9. Add remaining ½ cup sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, whipping for 20 seconds after each addition. Continue whisking until meringue reaches firm peaks and is glossy in appearance.
  10. Add remaining ½ teaspoon cornstarch and vinegar to meringue and fold in by hand with spatula.
  11. Pile meringue on top of filling and spread out with small offset spatula. Make sure meringue covers entire filling and lines up to crust. Bake pie for 20 to 25 minutes until meringue is golden brown.
  12. Turn oven off and crack oven door, allowing the meringue to cool down slowly. After 30 minutes, transfer pan to wire cooling rack and let cool for another 30 minutes. When pan is cool to the touch, move to refrigerator and let set for 2 to 3 hours. Do not cover yet — the pie is still warm, and the moisture will cause the meringue to weep.
  13. Once set, slice, serve, and enjoy! This pie is best on the very day it is baked, as meringue does not refrigerate well. If you are going to store it, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for as short of time as possible.
Calories per Serving 463
Total Fat 21.6 g
Saturated Fat 10.1 g
Trans Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 116.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 63.8 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Total Sugars 42.7 g
Sodium 223.1 mg
Protein 6.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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