Graham Cracker Crust Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon meringue pie

Dorling Kindersley: Charlotte Tolhurst/Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Refrigerate : 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
324 Calories
19g Fat
36g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 324
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 25%
Saturated Fat 8g 42%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 116mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 23g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 4mg 18%
Calcium 56mg 4%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 148mg 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 luscious pie is the perfect combination of a crumbly and buttery crust, a silky and tart filling, and an unctuous meringue top. Our recipe for the crust includes walnuts, which give a great consistency to the base, but also flavor and crunch. The short preparation time and quick bake in the oven make this a great dessert to make in the morning and put in the refrigerator until dinner time. The more time it gets to chill, the easier it'll be to slice and savor, as the firmer texture will make it easier to eat.

Perfect for the holidays or family celebrations, this pie, despite its look, is very easy to make and only requires a little attention to detail. The contrast between the tanginess of the lemon juice and sweetness of the condensed milk in the filling make this an all-time favorite, perfect also for tea time, or for a decadent coffee break in the middle of your afternoon.

If you want to split your preparation in two, go ahead and make the pie crust up to two days ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator. And if you always want to be ready to fill up a graham cracker pie crust, make more crusts and freeze them for up to three months; simply thaw before using. For this recipe, you'll need a 10-inch deep pie dish, condensed and not evaporated milk, and a lot of patience, as it will be difficult to wait until it's time for dessert.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • 4 eggs (whites and yolk separated)

  • 2 14-ounce cans condensed milk

  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1/2 cup sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and walnuts and mix well until all crumbs are moistened and you have a wet sandy consistency.

  3. Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch pie dish.

  4. Bake the crust for 8 to 12 minutes or until it is set. Remove the pie crust from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Keep the oven on.

  5. In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks with the condensed milk and lemon juice; mix well. Pour into the cooled pie crust and place in the refrigerator.

  6. In a clean, large mixing bowl (or standing mixer bowl) combine the egg whites with cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks form.

  7. Gradually add the sugar into the soft peaks, continuing to beat them until stiff peaks form. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved by grabbing a bit of the mixture between your fingers. If it's smooth and not gritty, the meringue is done.

  8. Take the pie out of the refrigerator and spoon the meringue on top of the lemon filling. Spread over the pie, making sure to seal the meringue to the edge of the crust to avoid it shrinking inwards in the oven.

  9. Use a spoon to make dips and swirls in the meringue.

  10. Bake the pie for 10 to 15 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown. If you aren't seeing enough color, put under the broiler for a few minutes but watch it carefully as it can burn fast.

  11. Place the baked pie in the refrigerator and chill for 4 to 6 hours before serving.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.

Why Won't My Egg Whites Make Stiff Peaks?

Because pasteurized eggs go through a heating process that kills potentially harmful bacteria, the white becomes more "stable" in its form, preventing the stiff peaks from coming to life when whipping the whites to make a meringue. So a meringue of unpasteurized egg whites is better in texture—even if not the best for your health, as it poses a risk for food-borne illness, although small.

So if you are using pasteurized eggs, chances are your meringue isn't shaping up to what you want.

Our recipe calls for cream of tartar to help the whites to loosen up and create the peaks. But you can add also a teaspoon of lemon juice once the egg whites are getting foamy, approximately one minute after you've started to whip the whites. If the amount we use still doesn't yield good peaks, try adding another 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar.

If you choose to use unpasteurized eggs for your meringue, be mindful it can threaten the well-being of the at-risk population, like pregnant women or small children.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

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