A favorite kind of pie for about 200 years, Lemon Meringue Pie is tangy, sweet, and topped with a fluffy, delicious meringue topping. There's a reason this recipe is popular, because it is both beautiful and delicious. Why not give it a try with our easy-to-follow recipe?
In the early 1800s, a Philadelphia woman named Elizabeth Goodfellow started America’s first cooking school. She had a classic recipe for lemon pudding which used ten egg yolks. At some point, to avoid the wasting of the egg whites, Ms. Goodfellow decided to top her lemon pudding with a lovely meringue topping, and Lemon Meringue Pie was invented. By the 1860s, many cookbooks featured recipes for Lemon Meringue Pie, and it’s been a favorite of many ever since.
Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe
- Medium-Sized Bowl
- Pastry blender
- Rolling Pin
- Nine-inch pie pan
- Small Bowls
- Egg Separator
- Medium-Sized Saucepan
- Wire whisk
- Rubber Spatula
Ingredients for Pie Crust
- 1¼ cups Flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ cup Sugar
- ⅓ cup Vegetable Shortening
- ½ cup Ice Water
Ingredients for Lemon Pie Filling
- 6 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1½ cups Water
- 1½ cups Sugar
- 3 pcs Egg Yolks
- 3 tbsp Butter
- The Grated Zest of One Lemon
- ½ cup Lemon Juice
Ingredients for Meringue
- 3 pcs Egg Whites
- ¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- 6 tbsp Sugar
- First, you will begin by making the pie crust. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and sugar with a fork. Measure the shortening into the mixture and use a pastry blender to chop the shortening into small pieces in the flour mixture. Keep cutting the shortening until it forms tiny crumbs in the mixture. It should resemble cornmeal.
- Next, drizzle about half of the water into the mixture, holding the ice back with your finger. Stir and toss this together with a fork. Add a bit more of the water and stir again, repeating until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and ball up. Use your hands to press the dough into a ball. Press it into a disk and place it on a lightly floured surface.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the disk into a 12-inch circle. Fold the crust into halves and then quarters. Lift the crust into a nine-inch pie pan, centering it before you unfold it. Use your fingers to create a decorative rim around the outer edge of the pie crust.
- Prick the pie crust on the bottom and sides with a fork.
- Bake the pie crust in the center of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until it is lightly browned around the edges. Remove the pie crust from the oven and let it cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- As the pie crust is baking, you can move on to the pie filling.
- Using two small bowls, separate the egg whites from the yolks using an egg separator. Set the whites aside to use in the meringue and beat the egg yolks with a fork.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together the cornstarch and the water. Use a whisk to stir these together until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the sugar, stirring until it is dissolved. Set the pan on the stove over medium heat and slowly let it come to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- The hotter the mixture gets, the thicker it will get and the more you will need to stir. As it starts to get closer to boiling, you will need to whisk it constantly to keep it from creating gummy chunks on the bottom.
- When the mixture begins to bubble, it will start to get very thick. Continue whisking and let it bubble for about a minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Use a ladle to spoon about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the bowl containing the beaten egg yolks. When they are thoroughly combined, scrape this mixture into the pot containing the water and cornstarch mixture. Return the pot to the heat, boiling the mixture for about 60 seconds, stirring the whole time.
- Take the pot off of the heat, turning off the stove, and add the butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Use a whisk to beat this mixture until smooth.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape the pie filling mixture into the pre-baked crust. Set this aside and move on to making the meringue mixture.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until the mixture is foamy. Add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating thoroughly. Continue to beat the egg whites until they are glossy and form stiff peaks.
- Spread the meringue on the top of the lemon pie filling, spreading it all the way to the edges of the pie crust.
- Bake the pie for 20 to 25 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned on the top. Remove from the heat and refrigerate the pie for at least 2 hours before serving. You can refrigerate it uncovered for a few hours, but for longer term storage, you will want to cover the pie with plastic wrap. To keep the wrap from sticking to the meringue, insert four or five toothpicks into the meringue to keep the wrap off of the meringue. Drape the plastic wrap over the toothpicks, creating a kind of “tent” over the pie.
- Store leftover pie in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, for up to five days.
Key Ingredients: Cream Cheese