Lemon Meringue Pie

 

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This month’s Daring Bakers challenge was the classic Lemon Meringue Pie, chosen by Jen at The Canadian Baker. As beloved a dessert as it is, I am not a fan of lemon unless it is squeezed into my water. I was contemplating foregoing this month, but then my sister told me that she would be stopping by for a visit, and she loves a good lemon meringue pie. Finally, a reason to make the pie!

I have never made a lemon meringue (or any type of meringue) pie before, so I had no preconceived notions about what to expect. I had, however, been hearing some rumblings of problems with this pie from other Daring Bakers who had made it early in the month. Having no experience with lemon meringue pie, I was becoming a little apprehensive. However, I forged ahead and went through with the recipe as it was written. I am happy to report that I had no problems with the pie. Aside from the crust shrinking on one side (“There was shrinkage!” – for all of you Seinfeld fans), the lemon curd came together perfectly and the meringue was beautiful. My sister and her friends all loved the pie and said it was wonderful.

To see how the rest of the Daring Bakers fared with the pie, check out the Blogroll.

 

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I actually think this was the best job I’ve done at preparing pie crust (I can usually never get it that smooth!) and I wanted to document it, so here’s a little tooting of my own horn:

 

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My sister, Lauren and her (our) friend, Alanna, enjoying their pie (I told you girls you would make the blog!):

 

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Lemon Meringue Pie

Makes one 10-inch pie

For the Crust:
¾ cup cold butter; cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup ice water

For the Filling:
2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
¼ cup butter
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup granulated sugar


For the Crust
:
Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of ⅛ inch. Cut a circle about 2 inches larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about ½ inch. Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the Filling:
Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.

Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

For the Meringue:
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.

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95 Responses to “Lemon Meringue Pie”

  1. baking soda on January 28, 2008 at 1:57 am

    I’m in love with that glorious mountain of meregue! Great job!

    Reply

  2. Pixie on January 28, 2008 at 3:39 am

    Looks perfect and lovely crust!

    Reply

  3. dhanggit on January 28, 2008 at 5:26 am

    your lmp is sooo gorgeous!! great job you did for this month’s challenge!!!love the photo of you with your sis enjoying it :-)

    Reply

  4. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Thank you baking soda!

    Reply

  5. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Thank you Pixie – I was so proud of that crust! :)

    Reply

  6. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Thanks dhanggit! It feels good to be back in it since I missed December and the potato bread in November was a flop for me. Oh, and the picture is of my sister and her friend, I was behind the camera ;-)

    Reply

  7. Gretchen Noelle on January 28, 2008 at 7:49 am

    That first pic of the pie makes me so jealous, it just looks like a perfect meringue topping. Great job! How great that you had visitors to bake for! Oh, and yes that is a very nice pie crust!!

    Reply

  8. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 7:51 am

    Oh thank you Gretchen! It was definitely nice to bake for visitors and have an empty pie plate when they left :)

    Reply

  9. ash on January 28, 2008 at 8:19 am

    it looks pretty! Especially the crust!

    Reply

  10. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 8:22 am

    Aw thanks Ash!

    Reply

  11. April on January 28, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Your LMP looks great! I am glad that it came out perfect for you!

    Reply

  12. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Thanks April! :)

    Reply

  13. Amber on January 28, 2008 at 9:34 am

    I love your high mountain of meringue, I just want to dive right into it. :) Your pie looks wonderful, congratulations.

    Reply

  14. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Thanks Amber! I had fun building that mountain ;-)

    Reply

  15. Katia on January 28, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Wow- Your crust does look great! The pie looks quite yummy and it looks like you had fun making it- and eating it! :)

    Reply

  16. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Thanks Katia! I took special pride in that crust ;-) Unfortunately I wasn’t the one eating it – I am not a fan of lemon! But my husband, my sister, and her friends all enjoyed it!

    Reply

  17. slush on January 28, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Its gorgeous! Your meringue looks oh so good. And I love your sis and her friend posing. Too cute! Well done!

    Reply

  18. temperedwoman on January 28, 2008 at 10:57 am

    That is a gorgeous perfect crust. Great job and congrats on your first lemon meringue success.

    Reply

  19. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 11:46 am

    tempered – thank you!! I love nothing more than a great pie crust :)

    Reply

  20. nikki57 on January 28, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Even if you don’t like it, your pie looks great!

    Reply

  21. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Thanks Nikki! :)

    Reply

  22. Your fabulous sister on January 28, 2008 at 11:55 am

    OMG I’m so excited I made the blog!! Alanna is going to be so excited too!! She thinks your some prodigy or something. AND it’s awesome that my Steelers sweatshirt made it into your Ohio kitchen!! Mw ha ha!!

    LOVE YOU!

    Reply

  23. Your fabulous sister on January 28, 2008 at 11:55 am

    PS – The pie was AWESOME!! I should have taken the rest with me and eaten it the whole drive home!

    Reply

  24. Alanna on January 28, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Great Pie Michelle! Thank you for including us in your blog!
    It was so much fun to dive into that HUGE meringue mountain!

    Reply

  25. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    You’re welcome Alanna! It was so much fun to have you girls here – you’ll have to come back and visit some time! And of course I’m glad that you enjoyed the pie :)

    Reply

  26. Kate on January 28, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    I love the fact that you made it even though you don’t like lemon meringue pie.

    Reply

  27. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Aw thanks Kate! Just keeping with the Daring Baker mindset ;-)

    Reply

  28. Deborah on January 28, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Your pie looks perfect, and it looks like your guests certainly enjoyed it!!

    Reply

  29. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Thanks Deborah! I was glad to be able to share it with guests.

    Reply

  30. tablebread on January 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    look how high you got your meringue!!! Beautiful job :)

    Reply

  31. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks tablebread!

    Reply

  32. bevsedgehills on January 28, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    your pie looks gorgeous, and your sister obviously enjoyed it! Sisters are the best (most honest) judges! x

    Reply

  33. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks Bev! And you’re right – my sister would totally let me know if it wasn’t up to snuff ;-)

    Reply

  34. Jennifer, a well- fed guest on January 28, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Michelle, the pie was Awesome! As I told you, I’ve never seen such bountiful peaks like that on a meringue pie before. Delish! Thanks!

    Reply

  35. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Aw thanks Jen – you are welcome! I’m so happy that you enjoyed it and it was so much fun having you over!

    Reply

  36. Erin on January 28, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    That looks so yummy, and it’s beautiful too! I’ve never made a lemon meringue pie before, but I think this will be inspiration for my first one!

    Reply

  37. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Thank you Erin! I hadn’t made one before and I thought it would be a lot harder than it was. It has built up my pie making confidence! :)

    Reply

  38. megan on January 28, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    I love the huge heap of meringue. It is beautiful.

    Reply

  39. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Thank you Megan!

    Reply

  40. kayte on January 28, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    holy cow that is one beautiful pie! lemon meringue is my mom’s favorite pie. i emailed her a link to your blog entry so she can drool over it :-)

    Reply

  41. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Thanks Kayte! Aww I hope your mom enjoys looking at the pie – you should give it a shot and surprise her!

    Reply

  42. Maureen on January 28, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Hi it’s Kayte’s momma – what an amazing pie you have made!!!! I am telling you I am a lover of Lemon Meran-guey Pic and that is the best looking homemade pie I have ever seen. You should enter it in a State Fair contest!!! You would come in first place!

    Reply

  43. breadchick on January 28, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Great challenge this month and anyone who can get a Seinfeld reference in is OK by book.

    Reply

  44. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Hi Kayte’s mom! Thanks so much for your comment – you are so sweet! I told Kayte to make this pie for you :)

    Reply

  45. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Thanks breadchick, I figured at least one person would have to appreciate the Seinfeld reference!

    Reply

  46. Claire on January 28, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Looks like you had a very tall meringue. It looks just divine! And you family appears to have enjoyed it.

    Reply

  47. Ashley on January 28, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    That is an insanely beautiful meringue topping! And I am very jealous of your pie dough skills. It looks so smooth and beautiful! Mine always seems to be a bit crumbly and rough.

    Reply

  48. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Thank you Claire! It was so nice to be able to share the challenge with some company!

    Reply

  49. Michelle on January 28, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Thank you Ashley! This was the very first time my pie crust came out that smooth. Usually it’s all cracked and crumbly as well. It may never happen again, so I wanted proof that I did it at least once ;-)

    Reply

  50. BitterSweet on January 29, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Gorgeous crust, it really is fluted perfectly.

    Reply

  51. Michelle on January 29, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks BitterSweet, although I really do think it’s an aberration ;-)

    Reply

  52. DaviMack on January 29, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    beautiful pie! I’m glad that you had somebody to share it with. :)

    Reply

  53. Michelle on January 29, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Thank you DaviMack! It’s always more fun to share the baked goods, isn’t it?!

    Reply

  54. Chris on January 29, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Wow – are you sure you never made meringue before? This is fabulous!

    Reply

  55. Michelle on January 29, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Aw thank you Chris, you are so sweet! It really was my first time – I was just winging it!

    Reply

  56. Jen on January 29, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    You pie looks amazing! I wish my meringue was as sky high as yours. Great job and thanks for participating!

    Reply

  57. Michelle on January 29, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Aw thanks Jen! Thanks so much for hosting and forcing me to conquer my first lemon curd and meringue :)

    Reply

  58. MyKitchenInHalfCups on January 29, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Michelle, I was thinking this was getting to be rather loud rumblings of problems. I’m calling you pie “Denver” cause it really is the mile high pie in the bunch! Beautiful job!!

    Reply

  59. Michelle on January 30, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Thank you!! I was getting nervous about all of the flops I heard about, but I lucked out :)

    Reply

  60. Aud on January 30, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    I must have missed this one! So, if I come over, does that mean I get pie too??? :: books ticket to OH ::

    Reply

  61. Michelle on January 30, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Aud, for you, I would make whatever you request :)

    Reply

  62. Beth G on January 30, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Your pie looks beautiful!! Great job :O)
    I am not such a fan of lemon deserts so my hubby ate mine! Thank goodness for friends & family!

    Reply

  63. Michelle on January 30, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Thanks Beth! Good thing we had others to pass off the pie too! ;-)

    Reply

  64. Gabi on January 31, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Really beautiful meringue! I’m glad you had a chance to do the LMP for your sister. Nice job!
    xoxo

    Reply

  65. Michelle on January 31, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Aw thank you Gabi! It was nice to be able to share the finished product with friends and family!

    Reply

  66. Lisa on January 31, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    You know.. every once in a while we all deal with a lil shrinkage.. not that there’s anything wrong with that. ;)

    Beautiful height on your meringue.. to me that pie looks like it should be in a bakery window. Seriously.

    Well done!
    xoxo

    Reply

  67. Michelle on January 31, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Aww thanks Lisa! You’re so sweet.

    And kudos for being a Seinfeld fan :)

    Reply

  68. Jenny on February 1, 2008 at 11:00 am

    For someone who has never made a meringue pie before, yours looks beautiful! Great job. And the crust really looks good – I have to say that was my favorite part of this particular recipe, for sure.

    Reply

  69. Michelle on February 1, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Aw thank you Jenny, you are so sweet! I am definitely a crust girl as well!

    Reply

  70. Anita on February 3, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Wow, that’s a picture perfect pie! Beautiful job!

    Reply

  71. Michelle on February 3, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Thank you Anita!!

    Reply

  72. Dolores on February 10, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Lauren & Alanna look like they’re enjoying your results. Your meringue is *gorgeous,* congratulations!

    Reply

  73. jaime on February 10, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Wow! I wish I could make meringue like that!!! I just want to smoosh my face in it, yum!

    Reply

  74. Mer on February 10, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    What a gorgeous pie! I love how high the meringue is piled. :0)

    Reply

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  78. Laura on October 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    What do the metal pie weights and or the dried beans do for the pie crust? If I used the dried beans do I put them in anything or just dump them on top of the foil? BTW this looks beautiful and I cant wait to make it this weekend.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 10th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      Hi Laura – They weigh down the crust so it doesn’t puff up when you blind bake it. You can just dump them on top of the foil.

      Reply

  79. Laura on October 11, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Thank you I made the pie this weekend and it turned out awesome!! :) On that note anything Ive made from your site, and thats been a lot, has been awesome.

    Reply

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  82. Michele on April 11, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Most Amazing Lemon Meringue Pie ever!!! I’ve made dozens of your recipes and this one came out perfectly. Beyond perfect. I’m still in shock looking at the pie! I didn’t want to cut into it, and when I did, it tasted better than I could have imagined. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I can’t wait to make it again:)

    Reply

  83. Coby on April 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I’ve never made or even tasted a lemon meringue pie, and I made this today for my kids after reading “Amelia Bedelia” to them this week (she makes a LMP) and they begged me to make one. I was definitely intimidated, but it came out very, very good! And I learned why it’s important to weigh the crust down, too. ;-)

    Reply

  84. sadie on May 27, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    could you use a mini blow-torch for the meringues?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 30th, 2012 at 10:19 am

      Hi Sadie, If you were making mini tarts I would say yes, but this pie uses so much meringue, I’m not sure that a kitchen torch would set the inside enough, as an oven would.

      Reply

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  87. Loraine Wood on April 1, 2013 at 8:50 am

    The pie turned out beautiful. The only thing we didn’t like was the lemon filling. I thought when I measured 1/2 cup of cornstarch that was a lot.. well it was too much. The lemon tasted great, but was too thick. It should have been more creamy like pudding and it was more like jello.

    Reply

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  92. Anissa Wheeler on May 7, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I wasn’t a fan of the lemon filling on this recipe. The meringue was good though.

    Reply

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