Table of Contents
  1. What makes a good lemon meringue pie?
  2. The ingredients in this lemon meringue pie
  3. Watch how to make this lemon meringue pie
  4. Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Pie is a lost art no longer! There is a resurgence of pie and the best part is that people are beginning to see that pie does not have to be “too much work.” Instead, pie can be doable and flat-out easy.

The important thing to remember if you are new to making pie is that repetition is key. Never expect that your first pie crust or first attempt at making a pie will be perfect. Instead, remember that every time you make a pie, banking up your practice, the easier it will become. Eventually, you won’t even think about it!

Hand holding white plate with slice of lemon meringue pie with piece sliced off of tip of pie with more lemons underneath

What makes a good lemon meringue pie?

Lemon meringue pie has three components that make it a good pie:

  • The crust should be well baked, golden brown, and flaky. Pie crust can take time to understand and understand the “feel for,” but my favorite crust is one that has always been my go-to.
  • The filling is lemon curd and needs to have a balance of bright lemon flavor with a bit of richness. The key is to make sure the filling is cooked until thick. A big mistake easily made is cooking the curd until it only slightly thickens. Instead, keep cooking until it is noticeably harder to whisk.
  • The meringue, which is traditionally a French meringue, is the conventional topping for a lemon pie. Raw egg whites and sugar are whisked until voluminous and stiff peaks form. But the texture and flavor of a French meringue can be boring. It’s also the least stable meringue, prone to weeping, excreting drops of liquid. Instead of going with the traditional method, this recipe uses a Swiss meringue. The Swiss meringue mixes the egg whites and sugar and cooks them in a bowl over simmering water. Once the sugar is dissolved, they’re whipped which creates a denser, creamier texture that’s stable. The result is an addicting marshmallow-like texture. The Swiss meringue will be softer than the French meringue but so much better. I find this to be the best topping and much more enjoyable to eat!
Top down view of white countertop with lemon meringue pie with slices cut and on white plates with other lemons and cup of coffee as well

The ingredients in this lemon meringue pie

  • Eggs and egg yolks are both used in this lemon curd filling. Part of the whites are reserved for the meringue and the remaining whites are used in the curd. This is different from many curd recipes that only use egg yolks. But with the correct ratio of thickening, the whites are perfectly fine to use within a curd.
  • Lemon juice is essential and provides the tart, bright flavor needed in the lemon filling. Make sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the most flavor. No bottled stuff here!
  • Sugar will balance out the tart lemon and provide more of a traditional dessert sweetness. The amount of sugar is important as it balances out the lemon without overpowering the tartness.
  • Cornstarch is completely necessary to thicken the curd and make sure the pieces of pie cut easily. Clear gel can also be used.
  • Cream of tartar is always in a meringue. But why? Cream of tartar is actually a byproduct of winemaking but a little bit helps stabilize egg whites and creates more volume.
  • Vanilla extract will give the Swiss meringue a hint of flavor without competing with the lemon filling. Plus, the addition of the vanilla extract drives home the marshmallow-like texture of the meringue.

This is the iconic diner-staple and spring-themed pie. And take it from me: you do not need an occasion like Easter to make this. The flavor will pinch the sides of your tongue like a good tart one should, and the sweet creamy meringue will bring it all together!

Side view of slice of lemon meringue pie sitting on white plate with lemons in background as well as other pie plate

More Easter posts

Watch how to make this lemon meringue pie

White plate with slice of lemon meringue pie with white meringue topping with rest of pie in background

Lemon Meringue Pie

4.46 from 11 votes
Why is it that a lemon meringue pie is such an iconic springtime pie? Likely, it's because of the bright, fresh flavors of the lemon curd filling paired with the fluffy topping! Such a simple pairing is also pretty easy to make, especially with an already-baked pie crust!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Chill Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 45 mins
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

For the lemon curd

  • 1 9-inch pie crust baked
  • 4 large egg yolks (whites reserved)
  • 4 large whole eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt

For the Swiss meringue

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

For the lemon curd filling

  • In a 4 quart saucepan, combine the four whole eggs, four egg yolks, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk to combine and place over medium-low heat. Continue to whisk until the mixture begins to thicken with a few bubbles forming around the edges, 5-6 minutes. Keep whisking and allow the curd to cook until it is noticeably very thick with large bubbles forming, 4-6 minutes.
    4 large egg yolks (whites reserved), 4 large whole eggs, 1 ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, ¼ cup cornstarch, ½ tsp salt
  • Remove the curd from the heat and pour through a sieve into the prepared pie shell. Place plastic wrap directly on the lemon curd filling and place in the refrigerator until chilled, or for up to 24 hours. Once chilled, top with the meringue (recipe following).
    1 9-inch pie crust

For the Swiss meringue

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer or a glass bowl, combine the reserved four egg whites, cream of tartar, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine and place over barely simmering water. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches 160°F. Remove from the heat and transfer to a stand mixer.
    4 large egg whites, 1 cup sugar, ⅛ tsp cream of tartar, ½ tsp salt
  • Using the whisk attachment, whisk the meringue on medium speed, increasing to medium-high until the egg whites cool to room temperature, 3-4 minutes. Continue to whisk until the meringue becomes thick and holds a stiff peak, 4-6 minutes.
  • Once at stiff peaks, whisk in the vanilla extract. Add the meringue to the prepared and chilled lemon pie.
    1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Using a kitchen torch or broiler, brown the meringue and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 507kcal | Carbohydrates: 75.9g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 19.4g | Saturated Fat: 10.6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6.1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 223.4mg | Sodium: 652.5mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 52.3g | Vitamin A: 193.8IU | Vitamin C: 14.8mg | Calcium: 37.5mg | Iron: 1.9mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Cooking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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14 Comments

  1. Hi, just want to say, you’re just fantastic and love watching you, and I definitely love making some of your stuff, either baking or cooking and outdoors gardening. Just love all of it.❤️

  2. 5 stars
    I love your take on a lemon meringue pie. I just discovered you on YouTube and I think you’re brilliant! Lemon meringue is my favorite pie. I plan on making this pie as soon as possible. Just need to do some grocery shopping first. I’m blessed with a lovely lemon tree that gives me an abundance of fruit.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe and your enthusiastic presentation.

  3. Thank you, it’s a joy to see what you are cooking or diffrrent infomation about things .
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.
    Never too old to learn things

  4. Your lemon meringue pie looks absolutely delicious.
    I am definitely going to make it.
    Thanks Kaleb 😀💚

  5. 5 stars
    I sure wish you had put your pie crust recipe with this. I do not have good luck with pie crust. So any help is appreciated. Love the curd and meringue recipes. Going to try them for Easter Sunday.

  6. 5 stars
    This pie is fantastic! It was easy with the two separate steps and I love the Swiss meringue!

  7. My daughter (12) will be trying to make this for a family gathering on Friday. Can we make the whole pie (with meringue) before or do we need to finish the meringue at the family gathering? The “serve immediately” has us stumped 🤔- can we make it completely and just make sure it is refrigerated? Thank you for your help!

  8. Love everything you do. You teaching me things that I didn’t know. Keep doing what you do. Love seeing you doing what you do

  9. 4 stars
    Made this recipe exactly as printed. My first bite impression delicious, but a little eggy tasting. Let’s break this down.
    – the crust: perfect, amazing, 10/10
    – the lemon curd: cooked up perfectly and while the lemon flavor had no problem shining through with 8 egg yolks it’s was a bit eggy tasting, however, they made for a bright yellow curd. 7/10
    – the meringue: I have never made a meringue pie with a cooked meringue like this and I must say I loved it. I’m thinking I will use this meringue recipe in lots of dessert recipes. I will cut the salt back to 1/4 teaspoon in the future. 9/10

    The pie definitely seemed to please the table. 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    I made this pie and it turned out perfectly! Kaleb gives such perfect instructions. I have never made such an awesome Lemon curd that wasn’t too sweet and not to tart but more on the tart side and everyone just loved it! The meringue was beautiful. Shiny and much like fluff! Marshmallow fluff. Plus this is the best pie crust and so simple! I have never made such a flakey crust and everyone commented on it. Thank you Kaleb, for your instruction and the encouragement you give to help us step out of our box!

  11. I really enjoyed making this pie. It was a touch sweet for my taste so next time I’ll reduce the sugar. I like that this recipe used a lot of lemon juice versus other recipes so it was nice and tart. Used the pie crust recipe as well and the family really enjoyed it. Thanks!

  12. 5 stars
    I used your recipe and video to make a lemon meringue pie for Easter. It was the first one I have ever done. I took it to a party and everyone was sooo impressed! It was a hit so thanks for the inspiration.

  13. 2 stars
    Ahhh. Should I have used a specific type of lemons? I used fresh lemon juice as directed, egg, sugar, salt and corn starch. It all came together beautifully and looks good but the finished pie filling was way too tart. It would been great for a very small bite tart but not for a whole slice of pie. What was I missing, was there something wrong in juicing the lemons?Unfortunately, I will keep looking for a lemon meringue pie recipe.

  14. You are a pie magician! I made this pie for a family gathering for Easter and it was outstanding, everyone loved it! I’ve never really loved the classic meringue but the Swiss meringue was absolutely divine! Thank you so much!