Desperate Housewives Secret Lemon Meringue Pie

Total Time
4hrs 35mins
Prep 35 mins
Cook 4 hrs

Katherine Mayfair's secret recipe that made Bree Van De Kamp furious, because "the girls" liked the new neighbor's pie better than Bree's! Bree tried to break into her house to steal the recipe but was unsuccessful. I don't see an exact duplicate on Zaar so maybe it is a secret....not anymore! I like that it's not too sweet, and use Boyajian Lemon Oil in place of the zest, which gives it a strong lemon flavor. Cook time includes chill time. Adapted from Wisteria Lane.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. PIE FILLING: Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in the top of a double boiler.
  2. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.
  3. Cover the pan and allow to cook 10 minutes longer.
  4. Stir occasionally.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl and add about half a cup of the thickened milk.
  7. Stir this mixture back into the double boiler.
  8. Cook and stir over boiling water for 5-6 minutes.
  9. Add the butter, lemon juice and rind; stir together until the butter melts, then remove from the heat.
  10. Cool this custard, approximately 30 minutes, stirring gently every 10 minutes or so.
  11. When cool, pour into the pie shell.
  12. MERINGUE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  13. Beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until they are stiff but not dry.
  14. Beat in the sugar slowly, followed by the vanilla.
  15. Heap onto the pie and spread with a rubber spatula across the entire crust, then "anchor" the meringue to the edge of the crust. As long as the meringue touches the crust, it won't pull away or shrink in the oven. Use a light back and forth motion of the spatula to make decorative waves in the meringue.
  16. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the meringue is delicately browned on top.
  17. Cool pie at room temperature, approximately three hours. Serve and graciously say "sorry" when people ask for the recipe!


Most Helpful

I've been making lemon meringue pies for over 30 years trying many recipes always with great flavor while sometimes with problems weeping and not firm enough. I decided to try this one. This was the most time consuming and expensive (with milk) I've ever tried. And my family was very disappointed, they wanted a "lemon meringue pie" with a distinctive lemon zesty flavor....not a custard cream pie with a slight lemon flavor. I was very disapointed in the pie..and would you suggest calling it a "lemon custard pie" which would aptly describe it.

kodicook November 25, 2010

With mouth watering in anticipation of having a 'perfect' pie after dinner, I proceeded to make this recipe. Using my own pie crust recipe (from's sugar-crusted apple pie), I followed filling instructions. Simple, but time-consuming. Making the meringue, however, was difficult. First time for doing so and felt there was a lack of instructions. Using a stand-mixer on the setting of "beat" (I followed what was written), I beat the egg whites. After 25 minutes, they were foamy but not stiff. Slowly adding while beating then vanilla only made whites runny. Down the drain they went. Baked pie crust and filling for 15 minutes with foil on outer edge of glass pan, removed foil and baked 25 minutes longer. Crust is golden brown and there are peaks on the filling. When time to eat pie, I will cover with a whipped topping. After making the pie I searched google for instructions on 'how to make meringue' and found them on Next time I make this recipe I will use Apriva, which is a finer sugar (suggested on whatscooking). The filling tastes great; it's a bit sweeter than I prefer, so using Apriva next time will cut down sweetness. Thanks for the recipe. I had fun making it. Who is Bree?

The King's kid April 25, 2010

Fabulous, nobody at work could believe I had the recipe! We watch the show at work all the time! I made it into 24 tarts so everyone could have a little taste. It got five stars from everyone! My boyfriend even helped make it (he stirred the pot a little but for him thats a big step!) Very easy instructions make it simple to follow. Thanks for such a lovely lemor pie, no more boxed stuff for me.

Ladymedic July 21, 2009

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a