Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

Homemade lemon meringue pie is a favorite dessert of many – including me! I think the secret to a delicious mouthwatering lemon meringue pie is that it needs to be homemade! Store bought lemon fillings just don’t taste the same as the real deal.

Today I’m sharing the classic lemon meringue pie my mom always made. It’s a bit of a labor of love, but it’s oh, so worth it.

How to make the best ever Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie from Scratch

Ingredients you’ll need for the homemade lemon pie filling:

Ingredients for lemon meringue pie
Fresh squeezed lemon juice makes the tastiest lemon pie.
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
  • (Plus a 9 inch baked pie crust)

Ingredients you’ll need for the meringue topping:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tarter OR 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Step 1: Assemble all your ingredients and supplies together and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Lemon meringue pie is a bit of a time sensitive recipe, so it helps to have everything laid out ahead of time. Before you start on the filling, get things ready for the meringue as well, since the meringue needs to be piled on the filling while it is still hot.

Slice of lemon meringue pie

Step 2: Make the cooked lemon pie filling.

  • In a medium sized sauce pan, mix together the sugar and cornstarch.
  • Slowly stir in the water.
  • Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils, stirring constantly.
  • Boil for 2 minutes
  • Remove from heat and slowly stir half of the hot mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks.
  • Return all the mixture back into the saucepan. Continue stirring and cooking and boil again for another 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, butter, and grated lemon rind.
  • Pour into baked pie shell.

Step 3: Make the meringue

  • In a large stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tarter OR lemon juice until white and frothy.
  • Very slowly add in the sugar, beating constantly.
  • Continue beating until white and stiff peaks form. You cannot overbeat this, so make sure it is beaten well!
  • Once the meringue is at the stiff peak stage, add in the vanilla.

A whole lemon meringue pie with a basket of lemons beside.

Step 4: Pile the meringue on the hot lemon pie filling

Pile the meringue onto the pie filling making sure the meringue goes all the way to the crust so the edge is sealed. Swirl the meringue and pull up points for a decorative top.

Step 5: Bake

Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 7 – 10 minutes, or until the peaks of the meringue are just beginning to brown. (Keep an eye on it!)

Let cool completely away from drafts before cutting and serving.

A lemon meringue pie cooling on a cooling rack.
Pile the meringue topping onto the hot lemon filling, making sure it seals the edge of the crust.

Tips for making Lemon Meringue Pie from scratch

  • Don’t stress if it isn’t perfect! There are many parts to a lemon meringue pie that are a bit finicky, so don’t focus on perfection. It will still taste amazing, I’m sure!
  • To try to prevent the meringue from “weeping” (oily beads forming on the top of the meringue)  be sure to add the meringue to the hot filling. Although I did that, this time it wept anyway! See the point above this…lemon meringue pies have a mind of their own. Another tip I read to prevent weeping is to avoid making this pie on a humid day. (Hmm…that’s not possible for some of us!)
  • If your pie does weep (like mine did) and the beads bother you, they can be removed one by one with a q-tip. (That’s what I did!;)

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Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This classic lemon meringue pie recipe with a perfect sweet and tangy filling and light, fluffy meringue is best made from scratch - a favorite recipe from the past!

Ingredients

  • Ingredients you’ll need for the homemade lemon pie filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
  • Plus a 9 inch baked pie crust
  • Ingredients you’ll need for the meringue topping:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tarter OR 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Instructions

  1. Assemble all your ingredients and supplies together and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Make the cooked lemon pie filling.In a medium sized sauce pan, mix together the sugar and cornstarch. Slowly stir in the water. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly stir half of the hot mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks. Return all the mixture back into the saucepan. Continue stirring and cooking and boil again for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, butter, and grated lemon rind.
  3. Pour into baked pie shell.
  4. Make the meringue: In a large stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tarter OR lemon juice until white and frothy. Very slowly add in the sugar, beating constantly. Continue beating until white and stiff peaks form. You cannot overbeat this, so make sure it is beaten well! Once the meringue is at the stiff peak stage, add in the vanilla.
  5. Pile the meringue onto the pie filling making sure the meringue goes all the way to the crust so the edge is sealed. Swirl the meringue and pull up points for a decorative top.
  6. Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 7 – 10 minutes, or until the peaks of the meringue are just beginning to brown. (Keep an eye on it!)
  7. Let cool completely away from drafts before cutting and serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 287Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 70mgCarbohydrates: 56gSugar: 50gProtein: 3g

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One Comment

  1. I’ve made lemon meringue pie from scratch before and I completely agree with you; storebought just can’t compare…but it’s most decidedly a labour of love. 😂 I’m going to give your recipe a try! Lemon meringue is a favourite on both sides of my husband and my family, so it’s always well appreciated when I do decide to put in the effort and make one, haha.

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