Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

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Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie is one of my favorite pies. Up until this recipe, I always made it from a boxed pudding mix thinking I would never be able to make one that would set up or taste as good. Not anymore. This recipe is every bit as good! Better, because it’s homemade!

Freshly Baked Lemon Meringue Pie

A few years ago, I began making my own Lemon Curd for tea parties. When I realized how easy it was to prepare I began to ponder recipes for a homemade Lemon Meringue Pie. You see, this is one of our daughters favorite pies, and mine, too.

It took me a while to get around to it, but now that I have, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to a box mix again. Bring on the Lemons!

Serving Lemon Curd at a Tea Party

While I considered using my Lemon Curd recipe for the pudding, I decided it needed more stability . . . and sweetness. And of course, a lemon pie needs the tallest lovely meringue possible. Living in southeast Kansas when the majority of our spring days have high humidity, this can sometimes be a challenge. But you do the best you can with what you have, right?

 

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Ingredients for This Recipe

(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

Crust

  • all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • vegetable shortening
  • cold water

Lemon Filling

  • large egg yolks
  • granulated sugar, divided
  • cornstarch
  • water
  • lemon juice
  • butter
  • lemon zest
  • salt

Meringue

  • egg whites
  • cream of tartar
  • vanilla extract
  • granulated sugar

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Ingredients for Lemon Filling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To begin, gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand.

 

Prepare the Ingredients

Using a fine edge grater, zest the lemon.

Zest the Lemon and Squeeze the Lemon Juice

Using a chef’s knife or Santoku knife on a cutting board, slice the lemons in half. With a lemon squeezer or a glass juicer, squeeze lemon juice into a glass measuring cup or bowl.

Carefully separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, placing egg whites in a large mixing bowl.

Be sure not to get any yolk in with the whites, or it will be keep your egg whites from stiffening.

If your kitchen is overly warm, go ahead and place egg whites in the refrigerator to keep them cold.

 

Make the Pastry Crust

Ingredients for Making the Pastry Crust

In a medium bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour and salt. Using a blending fork, cut in the vegetable shortening.

Add Water to Flour and Shortening Mixture and Mix to Make a Soft Dough

Add water in two parts, mixing until ingredients form a nice dough. Divide in half.

Divide Dough in Half and Roll Out Each Half to Fit Pan

Using a rolling pin, roll out on a floured surface big enough to fit pie pan.

This recipe will make 2 crusts, so you can either make another single crust pie or wrap and freeze it for later use. If I’m not making two pies, I will often use the extra dough to make quiche.

Crimp Edges and Blind Bake the Pastry Crust

For this recipe crimp edges and poke tiny holes all around with fork. Blind bake pastry by lining crust with a sheet of crumpled waxed paper and then filling it with 2 cups of dried beans. Bake on lowest rack in oven for 20 minutes with beans. Remove beans and paper and bake for another 15-17 minutes until lightly brown.

Baking with the dried beans will keep your crust from shrinking, and baking on the lowest rack will ensure that your crust is fully baked before adding your filling to it. You may also use a pie chain, although I’ve never used one before so am unable to recommend.

 

Prepare the Filling

Melt Butter in Water, Lemon Juice, and Sugar

In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup granulated sugar, water, lemon juice, butter, lemon zest, and salt. Heat on medium high heat until the butter begins to melt, for just a few minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together egg yolks, 1/4 cup remaining sugar, and cornstarch. Temper yolks with a 1/2 cup of the warm water, slowly whisking until it thins.

Add Warm Water to Egg Mixture to Temper

Add yolk mixture to saucepan and cook on medium-low heat for 2-4 minutes until mixture thickens, stirring constantly.

Allow Lemon Filling to Set While you Make the Meringue

Remove from heat and set aside while you make the meringue.

 

Make the Meringue

Ingredients to Make the Meringue

Once you’ve blind baked the crust and the lemon filling is made, it’s time to prepare the meringue. Using the large mixing bowl that have the egg whites in them, add in cream of tartar and vanilla extract. Beat together on medium speed for one minute.

Beat Meringue Until Stiff Peaks Form

Gradually add granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating on high for about 4 minutes. Mixture should form stiff glossy peaks.

Sometimes humidity in the air will effect the results of your meringue, causing it to be somewhat flat. If you’re experiencing high humidity, try refrigerating your egg whites to keep them cold until just before using.

ASSEMBLE THE PIE

Add Lemon Filling to the Baked Crust

To assemble the pie, spoon the lemon filling into the baked pie pastry.

Add Meringue on top of the Lemon Filling

Top the filling with the meringue, carefully spreading to the edges of the pie so that the meringue touches the crust. I like to take my fork and gently tap around the top of the meringue to form peaks.

Cook Meringue Until Nicely Browned on Top

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned.

A perfect meringue will form spots of sugared caramel on top. When this happens, pat yourself on the back. But if not, don’t worry. It will taste delicious!

Allow the pie to cool for at least 6-8 hours before serving to ensure that the filling has set properly.

Use a Clean Knife to Slice the Meringue Pie

To easily slice a cream pie with meringue, I like to dip my knife in a glass of water before each slice. This will help make clean cuts in the fluffy meringue.

Serving Lemon Meringue Pie on Pfaltzgraff Farmhouse Hen Dessert Plates

This recipe will serve 8 people.

See more Pie Recipes Here. Browse Desserts Here. View more Lemon Recipes Here.

 

Featured Image - Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie is one of my favorite pies. Up until this recipe, I always made it from a boxed pudding mix, but not anymore. This recipe is every bit as good! Better, because it’s homemade!
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate Pin Recipe
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cream Pies, Lemons, Meringue, Vegetable Shortening
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 
 

Pastry Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7/8 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Lemon Filling

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar divided
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Meringue

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. To begin, gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand.

Prepare the Ingredients

  • Using a fine edge grater, zest the lemon.
  • Using a chef’s knife or Santoku knife on a cutting board, slice the lemons in half. With a lemon squeezer or a glass juicer, squeeze lemon juice into a glass measuring cup or bowl. You will want 1/2 cup juice.
  • Carefully separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, placing egg whites in a large mixing bowl. (Be sure not to get any yolk in with the whites, or it will be keep your egg whites from stiffening.)
  • If your kitchen is overly warm, go ahead and place egg whites in the refrigerator to keep them cold.

Make the Pastry Dough

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour and salt. Using a blending fork, cut in the vegetable shortening.
  • Add water in two parts, mixing until ingredients form a nice dough. Divide in half.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out on a floured surface big enough to fit pie pan.
  • (This recipe will make 2 crusts, so you can either make another single crust pie or wrap and freeze it for later use. If I’m not making two pies, I will often use the extra dough to make quiche.)
  • For this recipe crimp edges and poke tiny holes all around with fork. Blind bake pastry by lining crust with a sheet of crumpled waxed paper and then filling it with 2 cups of dried beans. Bake on lowest rack in oven for 20 minutes with beans. Remove beans and paper and bake for another 15-17 minutes until lightly brown.
  • (Baking with the dried beans will keep your crust from shrinking, and baking on the lowest rack will ensure that your crust is fully baked before adding your filling to it.)

Prepare the Lemon Filling

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together 3/4 cup granulated sugar, water, lemon juice, butter, lemon zest, and salt. Heat on medium high heat until the butter begins to melt, for just a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together egg yolks, 1/4 cup remaining granulated sugar, and cornstarch. Temper yolks with a 1/2 cup of the warm juice, slowly whisking until it thins.
  • Add yolk mixture to saucepan and cook on medium-low heat for 2-4 minutes until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside while you make the meringue.

Make the Meringue

  • Once you’ve blind baked the crust and the lemon filling is made, it’s time to prepare the meringue. Using the large mixing bowl that have the egg whites in them, add in cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat together on medium speed for one minute.
  • Gradually add granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating on high for about 4 minutes. Mixture should form stiff glossy peaks.
  • (Sometimes humidity in the air will effect the results of your meringue, causing it to be somewhat flat. If you’re experiencing high humidity, try refrigerating your egg whites to keep them cold until just before using.)

Assemble the Pie

  • To assemble the pie, spoon the lemon filling into the baked pie crust.
  • Top the filling with the meringue, carefully spreading to the edges of the pie so that the meringue touches the crust. I like to take my fork and gently tap around the top of the meringue to form peaks.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned.
  • Allow the pie to cool for at least 6-8 hours before serving to ensure that the filling has set properly.
  • This recipe will serve 8 people.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated, all butter used on this recipe site is salted.
**To easily slice a cream pie with meringue, I like to dip my knife in a glass of water before each slice. This will help make clean cuts in the fluffy meringue.

Nutrition

Calories: 556kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 471mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 2mg
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