Check out my recipe for making Lemon Meringue Pie!
One of my greatest food-related memories as a kid was having lemon meringue pie for every holiday at my grandma Grace’s house. She made the BEST lemon meringue pie ever!! My love for lemon meringue (lemon anything, really) has only grown over the years. There’s not a holiday that goes by that I don’t make a lemon meringue pie!
Lemon meringue pie consists of a tart lemon filling, similar to lemon curd, a meringue topping, and a traditional pie crust. While it may look complicated to make, it’s really not that hard and the results are AMAZING!!
For me, one of the most important things that go into making the perfect lemon meringue pie is the filling-to-meringue ratio. If you don’t have enough meringue, the pie just isn’t quite as good. So, my recipe makes a lot (it looks like it’s too much but it’s not, trust me!) of meringue. I like a 3 or 4 inch deep meringue topping on the lemon pie!
Obviously, the lemon pie filling is VERY important! You don’t want to have a lemon filling that is too tart or too sweet. Adding in just the right amount of sugar helps with this. Also, adding in the fresh lemon zest helps to add a little extra flavor, but also adds a wonderful texture! Be sure to add the lemon zest, you’ll be surprised by what a difference it makes!
Tips for making Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon meringue pie filling is very similar to lemon curd. The thick lemon filling is made by combining water, sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, lemon juice and zest, and butter together. The filling is similar to that of jelly. While there is no dairy in the pie filling, it does take on an almost creamy texture.
Yes. Refrigerating lemon meringue pie will help it keep the right consistency. The filling will stay thicker and the meringue will keep it’s shape more.
To prevent lemon meringue pie from weeping or becoming watery, fill the pie and add the meringue while the pie shell and filling are still warm. Doing so creates a bond or seal between the different parts of the pie and helps to reduce the weeping. Be sure to fully cook the filling and bake the meringue long enough.
Let the egg whites get to room temperature before beating them. Very cold eggs will not make as stiff of a meringue. Be sure not to get any of the egg yolks into the whites. To help with this, I always crack and separate each egg yolk in a small bowl instead of in the main bowl. That way if a yolk breaks, it hasn’t gotten into the big bowl of whites. Instead, the yolk is confined to just one egg white, which can be discarded. Keep an eye on the egg whites and check for peaks frequently. You want the egg whites to be beaten into stiff peaks, but you don’t want to over beat them or the texture will be off.
Yes. Meringue needs to be cooked as it is made up of raw eggs. Cooking the meringue (on the pie) for 20-25 minutes or until it has reached a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit will ensure that the meringue is safe to eat.
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Ingredient substitutions and tips for making Lemon Meringue Pie:
Steps for making Lemon Meringue Pie:
Directions for making Lemon Meringue Pie:
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- 1 (1) Pie Crust (Premade or homemade- 10 inch)
- Using a fork, prick the bottom and sides of the pie crust throughout and then partially bake the pie crust according to the directions on the package or based on the homemade pie crust recipe that you are using. The crust should still be a little warm when you add in the pie filling in the next steps, so if you have pre-made the pie crust, stick it back in the oven for a few minutes to warm it up, before adding the pie filling.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once combined, add the lemon juice and lemon zest and stir for about 5 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. Turn the heat down to low.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until well combined.
- Add 3 tablespoons of the hot lemon pie filling to the whisked egg yolks and continue to whisk until well combined. The pie filling will temper the egg yolks so that when you add them to the rest of the hot pie filling the egg yolks won't scramble.
- Add the butter and whisk in the butter.
- Pour the hot lemon mixture into the prepared pie crust and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer or stand mixer and the whisk attachment, pour the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat the egg whites until they start to get very bubbly and almost start to form soft peaks. I usually start on medium speed and then turn it up to high speed after about a minute.
- Scoop out the meringue and top the warm pie filling with the meringue. It's going to look like you have too much meringue, but you don't. Add all of the meringue. Be sure to seel the edges of the pie with the meringue so that it is touching the crust and you cannot see the filling. Form a bit of dome with the meringue so that it is deeper in the middle than it is on the sides of the pie.
- Using the tines of a fork or the back of a spoon, gently touch the meringue and pull upwards to form lots of little peaks in the meringue. All of these little peaks will get extra color when it gets baked.
- Bake the pie at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, or until the meringue is starting to turn golden brown. If the meringue is getting too dark, cover it loosely with foil and continue to bake.
- Refrigerate the pie for several hours before serving. If you serve right away, the filling will not be set and you will have a runny pie. To prevent the meringue from sticking to foil or plastic wrap, you can stick toothpicks in the meringue topping and have the foil or plastic touch the toothpicks instead of the meringue.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only.
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