This classic showstopping lemon meringue pie has a tart and creamy lemon filling with a fluffy meringue top. The signature flavour and texture combinations in this recipe are exactly why this pie will become your new favourite!
Today is my husband’s birthday he requested this pie to celebrate, and I think it’s the perfect choice for a special occasion. We are a pie loving family. It’s a tradition in our home where we don’t have birthday cakes we have birthday pies. Some of my most requested are Blueberry Crumble Pie and Perfect Peach Pie.
This lemon meringue pie is simple to make, but timing is important so it is best to have everything ready when you start this recipe.
How to make Lemon Meringue filling
Preheat the oven, then roll out one pie dough round. If you need a great pie dough recipe you can try this one from my Perfect Peach Pie. Place the rolled dough into a glass pie plate and poke all over with a fork. Line with aluminum foil and place pie weights inside. If you don’t have pie weight, barley or rice is a great alternative. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, remove the weights and foil and then bake until just golden. Then turn the oven down.
While the pie shell is baking, make your lemon filling, it is important that the filling and crust are still warm when you assemble the pie.
Place lemon zest, juice, water, sugar, cornstarch, and salt into a pot whisking while to combine. In a small bowl place five egg yolks and whisk them up then set aside. Reserve the whites for later to make the meringue topping. Place over medium high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes. The mixture should be thicker and bubbling.
Once the mixture has thickened temper the whisked egg yolks. The easiest way is to ladle in a steady stream of the bubbling lemon mixture to the whisked egg yolks, while stirring. Then pour the tempered egg yolks back into the pot with the lemon mixture. Return to a boil and cook, while whisking. Until it gets thick and coats the bowl.
Remove the lemon filling from the heat and add the butter, and whisk to fully combine. Then pour the lemon mixture into the partially baked pie crust, which should still be warm, and set aside while making the meringue topping. It’s best if the pie is warm when the meringue is added to reduce shrinkage.
How to make the meringue
Place the reserved egg whites into a clean bowl and add 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. Then with an electric mixer whisk until soft peaks form.
Add the salt, then slowly incorporate the sugar a tablespoon at a time until it’s all added. Then mix again on high speed into stiff peaks form.
How to assemble the pie
Now that the meringue is ready get the pie, which should still be warm, and dollop all over the top of the pie. Use a spoon to evenly spread the meringue over the pie making sure it reaches the pie dough.
Pro Tip: If the meringue doesn’t touch the pie dough it is likely to shrink during baking!
Place pie in a preheated oven to bake until just starting to brown on the top. Remove from oven and let cool for an hour. Then place in fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.
- 1 round pie dough
- 5 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue recipe below)
- 1 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 5 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
1.Preheat the oven to 400, and partially blind bake the pie shell until just turning golden then remove from the oven. Reduce the temperature to 350.
2. Place the egg yolks in a small bowl then whisk and set aside. In a pot add the water, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch and salt whisking to combine. Place the pot over medium high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, about 6 minutes.
3. Temper the egg yolks by ladling in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture while whisking the egg yolks. Then our the tempered eggs into the pot with the lemon mixture and continue to cook, while stirring occasionally. After about 5 minutes the mixture should be bubbly and thick.
4. Remove from the heat and add the butter and whisk until smooth. Pour the prepared lemon filling into the partially baked pie shell. Then set aside to make the meringue.
5. In a clean bowl add the egg whites and cream of tartar, using an electric hand mixer whisk until soft peaks form. Add the salt, then add the sugar about a tablespoon at a time whisking well between each addition. Once all the sugar is added continue whisking until glossy stiff peaks from.
6. Top the prepared pie with the meringue by dolloping all over the top. Then using the back of a spoon smooth into an even layer paying attention to m make sure it touches the pie crust to prevent shrinking.
7. Place the pie into the oven and bake about 25-30 minutes, until the meringue is toasted and golden. Allow the pie to cool at room temperature for an hour, then place in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours before serving.