The Ultimate Lemon Meringue Pie

"I made this pie this weekend. It's adapted from The Perfect Recipe cookbook by Pam Anderson. Wow, we agreed it was the best lemon meringue pie recipe we'd ever had. The filling is very lemony sweet/tart and fluffy. The meringue is tall and fluffy/light. Prep times are estimated. It takes a little time, but is well worth it. Lemon meringue pie was first invented in Philadelphia. This recipe represents the Mid-Atlantic U.S. region."
photo by Izy Hossack photo by Izy Hossack
photo by Izy Hossack
photo by Michelle O. photo by Michelle O.
photo by VAWhitney photo by VAWhitney
photo by sfsquisting photo by sfsquisting
photo by Izy Hossack photo by Izy Hossack
Ready In:
1hr 40mins
1 pie




  • Make pie shell: Mix flour, sugar and salt in a food processor, by pulsing a few times.
  • Scatter the frozen butter pieces over flour mixture.
  • Pulse in 1-second pulses about 5 times to mix in butter.
  • Add frozen shortening; pulsing in 1-second pulses until mixture resembles cornmeal with pieces about the size of peas.
  • Slowly add ice water through the processor feed tube, with motor running, one tbsp at a time.
  • When dough forms a ball, stop processing.
  • It should take about 2 or 3 tbsp of ice water to reach this stage.
  • Shape dough into a ball in your flour coated hands, and then flatten into a 4 inch wide disk.
  • Flour disk and wrap in plastic.
  • Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  • Generously coat your work surface or pastry sheet with a little flour and about 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs.
  • Place dough on floured surface, coat with some flour and graham cracker crumbs, and roll into a 9-inch disk.
  • Lift, coat surface with more graham and flour, turn dough, add more graham and flour on top, and roll out to a 13 inch disk.
  • Place into a 9 inch pie pan, and finish edges.
  • Refrigerate crust until firm, about 30 minutes.
  • Prick dough with a fork to prevent bubbling up in the oven.
  • While the oven is pre-heating to 375, put pie crust in freezer.
  • Bake at 375 for 20- 25 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure it's browning evenly and not bubbling up.
  • Lemon Filling: Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a large, nonreactive saucepan.
  • Add egg yolks, then immediately but gradually whisk in 1 1/2 cups water.
  • Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking regularly, 8- 10 minutes, until thickened.
  • Remove from heat, whisk in zest, then juice, and finally butter.
  • Keep warm until meringue is made.
  • Meringue topping: Mix cornstarch and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened.
  • Remove from heat when translucent and thickened.
  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix cream of tartar and sugar together.
  • Beat egg whites with whip attachment of mixer until frothy. Add vanilla.
  • Beat in sugar mixture, 1 tbsp at a time.
  • Then drop in cornstarch mixture, 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form.
  • Pour warm lemon filling into pie crust.
  • Distribute meringue evenly over the top, starting with the edges, and then the middle.
  • Make sure it attaches to the crust.
  • Lifting with the back of the spoon, create peaks in the meringue.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Cool completely before serving.

Questions & Replies

  1. Can you make the crust the night before you make the pie? If so, do you need to refrigerate it after it cools?
  2. can i use a torch instead? if im using the meringue on a cheesecake?
  3. Would it be possible to use this recipe to make a Key Lime Meringue Pie?


  1. Sorry, but this just didn't work for me. The crust was good, the meringue lovely (I used all 6 egg whites and adjusted the sugar etc to compensate). The problem was with the ingredients and method of making the filling, I think. I have only made LMP a few times and always used a recipe that had a lemon curd type of filling. Never a problem with runny filling or flavourless filling. Due to the rave reviews I thought I'd try this to see what I was missing. My first question was about adding so much water to the filling ingredients. I noticed many LMP recipes use a water and cornstarch based filling which seems to provide much less flavour than one using mostly or all lemon juice for the filling. I also didn't understand adding unbeaten egg yolks to all that sugar and cornstarch. That seems like asking for trouble along the lines of little bits of tough egg floating in the filling. Why not combine the water and beaten egg yolks or even a little water and egg yolks? Or add some of the cold water to the sugar and cornstarch, then add the rest to the yolks and combine? It would prevent egg lumps that one reviewer said she dealt with by using an immersion blender. Then the cooking instructions seem backwards. They say to cook the sugar, cornstarch, yolks and water "until thickened", then add the lemon juice, rind and butter. I did cook the sugar mixture until very thick (like icing or heavy custard) but once I added the juice and the butter it became pourable and never thickened up again. The pie has been in the fridge for 24 hours and the filling is still the consistency of melted ice cream. Why not cook the filling with the butter and lemon juice in it so you can accurately judge the consistency? Did I cook it too long? Not long enough? There is no real way to know. The taste is okay but not special even using fresh lemon juice, sweeter today than yesterday we all agreed, and the meringue did not weep at all. It looked lovely until we cut it and it poured itself out of its crust. IMHO, just not worth the effort given the ease by which one can make a real lemon curd for such a pie and avoid the issue of "will it or wont it" thicken.
  2. I made this for my husband's birthday and he proclaimed it 5 stars. It was definitely delicious, but time consuming. I made a few minor modifications to the recipe based on previous reviews.<br/><br/>Made the crust as described and it was fantastic.<br/><br/>Made the filling as described but increased the cornstarch to 1/2 cup and brought the mixture to a light boil and added the lemon juice/zest in and also boiled for a few minutes. Removed from heat and stirred in the butter. The filling set up beautifully and had no lumps as earlier reviewers had mentioned.<br/><br/>Made the meringue as described but am not sure I understand the purpose of the cornstarch. Meringue should set up fine without it so I may try it without the cornstarch next time. It did taste wonderful though!<br/><br/>Overall a great tasting recipe, just requires some attention to detail!! Thanks for sharing!
  3. I am giving this one star; if you are a beginner, this is NOT the recipe for you. The directions are not detailed enough for a beginner baker. The only reason I gave this ONE star and not ZERO stars is because the lemon filling came out very tasty...if you can get past the scrambled eggs in the mix; the recipe said NOTHING about tempering the eggs to the filling...just "oh yeah...throw the eggs in there, and just mix" No....TEMPER the eggs...don't just add them. I am beyond frustrated to the fact that I made gorgeous home made pie crusts only to have a failed recipe once again find it's way into my kitchen. Absolute disaster! Even following the directions step, by vague step...It never panned out. Save your time (because I stayed up till almost 5 am) and eggs and look for a recipe that doesn't give vague directions. Might as well have tried to follow a cooking show while it's being fast forwarded...
  4. This recipe is a disaster. The directions are terrible and without the detail you need, slim chance the pie will set up, there are unnecessary ingredients, and overall, its just not reliable recipe. I question all of the reviews on this site. Find another recipe with more detailed directions.
  5. This is a really good tasting recipe however, the cooking of the lemon filling for 8-10 minutes was not long enough and adding butter and lemon juice after the lemon filling solidified was probably the wrong move. I like firmer lemon filling and it came out thickened but once I added the lemon juice and butter it went all liquified and never solidified again. Next time I will add all ingredients together and let it cook a bit longer so that it solidifies. Thanks for posting though. I will use this recipe again but will do the lemon filling slightly different.


  1. I only used the crust recipe. It was hard to work with but worth the effort.
  2. As with a lot of other reviewers, this was my first attempt at a lemon meringue pie and I was very nervous. My grandson & I measured everything out ahead of time since things move quickly once you start cooking. Time was short so we used the Pillsbury refrigerated crusts instead of making homemade but made the filling and the meringue as directed, adding a bit more lemon juice & zest. I'm happy to say that it came out wonderfully delicious! The meringue was light and fluffy, the filling set beautifully and was very tasty. If I ever get a request to make a lemon meringue pie in the future, this is the recipe that I'm coming back to.
  3. I made this for Thanksgiving last year, and will be making it again for Easter. This pie is a WINNER! Best Lemon Meringue Pie I've ever eaten--extremely lemony and the meringue was awesome. I don't like meringue, and I like this. I used one of my own homemade pie crusts instead of the graham cracker crust, and it was fabulous. Thanks for a keeper!



Find More Recipes