Lemon Meringue Pie



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.



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:



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



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.


98 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!


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

    Looks perfect and lovely crust!


  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 🙂


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

    Thank you baking soda!


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

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


  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 😉


  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!!


  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 🙂


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

    it looks pretty! Especially the crust!


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

    Aw thanks Ash!


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

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


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

    Thanks April! 🙂


  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.


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

    Thanks Amber! I had fun building that mountain 😉


  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! 🙂


  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!


  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!


  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.


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

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


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

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


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

    Thanks Nikki! 🙂


  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!!



  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!


  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!


  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 🙂


  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.


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

    Aw thanks Kate! Just keeping with the Daring Baker mindset 😉


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

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


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

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


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

    look how high you got your meringue!!! Beautiful job 🙂


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

    Thanks tablebread!


  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


  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 😉


  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!


  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!


  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!


  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! 🙂


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

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


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

    Thank you Megan!


  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 🙂


  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!


  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!


  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.


  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 🙂


  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!


  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.


  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.


  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!


  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 😉


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

    Gorgeous crust, it really is fluted perfectly.


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

    Thanks BitterSweet, although I really do think it’s an aberration 😉


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

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


  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?!


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

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


  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!


  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!


  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 🙂


  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!!


  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 🙂


  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 ::


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

    Aud, for you, I would make whatever you request 🙂


  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!


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

    Thanks Beth! Good thing we had others to pass off the pie too! 😉


  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!


  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!


  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!


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

    Aww thanks Lisa! You’re so sweet.

    And kudos for being a Seinfeld fan 🙂


  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.


  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!


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

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


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

    Thank you Anita!!


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

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


  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!


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

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


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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.


    • 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.


  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.


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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:)


  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. 😉


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

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


    • 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.


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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.


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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.


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  94. Paula on January 28, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Hi! I’ve been looking for a lemon pie recipe for ages and yours seems to be the most appetizing. What size of eggs should I use (small, medium, large, x-large)?


    • Michelle on February 5th, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Hi Paula, Unless noted otherwise, I always use large eggs for my recipes.


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