Easy Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

The Spruce

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
521 Calories
21g Fat
76g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 521
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 135mg 45%
Sodium 317mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 76g 28%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 48g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 133mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for lemon meringue pie has a delicious, tangy lemon curd and loads of billowing meringue piled high. The combination of flaky crust, sweet and tart filling, and toasty meringue makes for an irresistible dessert. Using a pre-baked pie crust simplifies the recipe, but you can make one from scratch if you are so inclined.

Ingredients

For the Lemon Filling

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell

For the Meringue Topping

  • 4 large egg whites

  • 1 pinch cream of tartar

  • 8 tablespoons granulated sugar

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this meringue pie is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Lemon Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Lemon meringue pie ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside.

    Whisking egg yolks in bowl
    The Spruce
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Stir frequently and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute and remove from the heat.

    Whisking cornstarch mixture on stovetop
    The Spruce
  4. While whisking briskly, add 1/2 cup of the hot cornstarch mixture at a time to the egg yolks until you have added at least half of the cornstarch mixture.

    Adding cornstarch to custard
    The Spruce
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining cornstarch mixture. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute.

    Whisking custard on stovetop
    The Spruce
  6. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the butter and lemon zest and juice until well combined.

    Whisk in lemon juice and butter
    The Spruce
  7. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked pie shell. Set aside.

    Pouring custard into pie shell
    The Spruce 

Make the Meringue Topping

  1. Whisk the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Then add the cream of tartar and beat for a few more minutes, until larger peaks form.

    Whisk egg whites
    The Spruce
  2. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, ​approximately 1 to 2 minutes.

    Whipped egg whites in bowl
    The Spruce

Assemble and Bake the Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

  2. Spoon the meringue over the top of the filling while it is still hot. The meringue should completely cover the lemon mixture.

    Top pie with meringue
    The Spruce
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the meringue is golden.

    Oven-browned meringue-topped pie
    The Spruce 
  4. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

  5. Make sure the pie is cooled completely before slicing.

    Lemon meringue pie
    The Spruce
  6. Enjoy.

How to Store

A lemon meringue pie will last in the refrigerator for up to three days. To store, place a few toothpicks in the top of the pie and drape plastic wrap over top. Do not freeze, as the pie will become soggy when thawed.

Why Is My Pie Watery?

When water accumulates between the lemon curd filling and the meringue topping, this is called weeping. To prevent this from happening, make sure to add the meringue when the filling is hot—this will cook the meringue from the bottom and ward off a watery pie. Spreading the topping all the way to the edges of the pie crust will also help.

Meringue Tips

Making meringue can be tricky, but if you follow certain steps you are likely to have success.

  • The eggs should be at room temperature.
  • Be sure there isn't any yolk in the egg whites.
  • The bowl needs to be clean.
  • Add the sugar slowly.
  • Include the cream of tartar.
  • Do not overbake.