Lemon Meringue Pie

Blame it on yesterday’s Pi Day celebration.  All across the internet, all day long, I was subjected to pie after pie after delectable pie.  So today I resolved to BAKE ME SOME PIE.  I did my research before delving headfirst into custard and meringue.  Good thing too, because one read through this recipe and I knew something was fishy.  Hmmm.  Friends, as strange as it may seem, even the best food websites do make mistakes. In this case, the Food Network. When they posted this Alton Brown recipe someone made a grave error, and if you follow the directions as written, all you will achieve is a lovely lemon soup.  Fortunately, I caught wind of this prior to starting (one good reason to READ COMMENTS!) and if you follow my directions below you will in fact create a luscious lemon meringue pie. What better way to celebrate an unconventional holiday one day late than with the queen of custards!  Lemon meringue reigns supreme among low sodium desserts, especially this time of year, and I’m thinking of baking this again at Easter.  It’s like the taste of spring.. sunny yellow citrus sandwiched between flaky crust and sweet fluffy clouds.  OOOohhh!!! For this pie you will need one pre-baked crust. Click here and follow Simply Recipes easy step-by-step instructions. Just skip the salt & you’ve got a perfect crust!

Yields 8 servings.

SODIUM CONTENT:  37 mg per serving


1- 9-inch pre-baked pie crust

4 egg whites
1/8 t. cream of tartar
2 T. sugar

4 egg yolks
1/3 c. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/3 c. sugar
3 T. unsalted butter
1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
1 T. finely grated lemon zest (zest of 2 lemons)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place egg whites & cream of tartar in a stand mixer bowl. Attach the whisk beater and beat mixture until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Set meringue aside.

Whisk egg yolks in medium sized bowl and set aside.

Measure cornstarch, water and sugar into a saucepan and whisk to combine. Place saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once mixture begins to boil, let boil steadily 1 minute, stirring briskly.

Remove from heat and gradually, a whisk at a time, add the hot mixture to the egg yolks.

Keep stirring whisk-fulls in until at all of the mixture is combined.  Return egg mixture to the saucepan.

Turn the burner down to low and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened considerably, roughly 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in the butter.  Once the butter is completely incorporated, stir in the lemon juice and zest, mixing until well combined.  Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie shell.

Top with meringue while filling is still hot.  Use a spatula to spread meringue completely over the top, making sure it goes right to the edge of the crust.

Place the pie on the middle rack in the oven and bake 10-12 minutes, or until meringue is golden.  Remove from oven and place pie on a wire rack to cool.  Cool fully before slicing.

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9 Responses to Lemon Meringue Pie

  1. Lemon anything is basically my favourite thing, but that pie is truly a beaut and totally trumps the McDonald’s apple pies I had yesterday. That shot of it in the oven is magnificent.

  2. Christy says:


    First, thank you so much, that is so kind of you to say. But HAHHHH!! Had to laugh at the McDs comment — Maddie got off the bus today all excited. Apparently the talk du jour among the 5th graders was about how McDonalds puts (and I quote) “Baby diaper sucking up crystals in their milkshakes to make them bigger w/out having to use actual ingredients.”


    Yep, kids.

  3. Holy Pete do I love lemon meringue pie (I’ve never met a pie I didn’t love)! I’m not too proud to admit it… I’ve eaten pie straight ‘out the pan’ (as in no utensils). I mean, who has time for silly things like ‘civility’ and ‘manners’ when there’s a PIE around! 🙂

  4. Christy says:

    Inky, you should do the county fair circuit in the summer. I bet you could win all those “pie eating contests” hands down! Pun intended!

  5. nat @book, line, and sinker says:

    wow, that pie looks scrumptious! i just made a meringue-based dessert last weekend–my first ever–and enjoyed it. this pie is inspiring me to get back into the kitchen. also, thank you so much for posting the correction to the recipe–i’m sure you saved people from lemon soup!

  6. christy says:

    Nat, your Pavlova was so beautiful! I’ve been meaning to email my cousin and ask whether she has them frequently. I recall one commenter saying they’re very popular in Australia. XO

  7. christy says:

    PS: Only 1 slim piece left. The pie was luscious!!

  8. Kendra says:

    Made it! Tasted the filling before I filled the shells and it was delicious! I cut the sugar by 1/3 cup as I am diabetic and loooove the tart lemony taste! I appreciate the lo salt content and will try this gain! My meringue is flat, it was just under 45 mins to get it to the peaks that I was happy (enough) with…. what am I doing wrong, this is my second meringue fail… does t need to be really cold bowl or eggs, I was on a medium speed with my hand mixer…

    • Christy says:

      Hey Kendra! SO glad you enjoyed the recipe! WOO. I also love the tart lemony tang of this pie filling- great idea to cut the sugar for best health! As for your meringue fail.. Poo. I’m so sorry to hear about it. I wonder if there was any residual fat left in the bowl?? Even a tiny bit of grease residue will make it super hard to beat them. Or maybe a little yolk got in with the whites?? Or the eggs were straight from the fridge cold? Sometimes that impedes whipping them. I’m sorry I can’t diagnose now, but hopefully next time you’ll have better luck. Wishing you all the very best! Christy

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