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Mom’s Lemon Meringue Pie

My mom was famous for her Lemon Meringue Pie growing up. In fact, she still is!  It was often requested for parties or sick visits. (Really, I remember people asking my mom to bring this pie instead of chicken noodle soup when they were sick!)  I often forget how good it is until I make it-then I just can’t stop eating it!

This recipe starts with a flakey homemade pie crust that is filled with smooth and creamy lemon filling and topped with toasted meringue. It is totally irresistible!

A picture of a lemon meringue pie. the meringue is fluffy and slightly browned. There are lemon wedges next to the pie.

Our kids especially love the meringue. No matter how many times I make it with them and they watch the entire process they are convinced it’s marshmallow. I guess it is in a way, but it’s definitely meringue. I love that they are so adamant. “Dad, mom made Grandma’s pie with the marshmallows!” We are starting to not correct them at all as they are pretty darn sure that they are right and nothing is going to convince them otherwise.

A picture of a slice of lemon meringue pie. The filling is bright yellow and the meringue on top is lightly toasted. There are lemon wedges and a sugar bowl in the background and a fork is on the plate next to the slice of pie.

Lemon was something I really struggled with as a kid. I just couldn’t stand that tart flavor at all unless it was a lemon head candy. Do those even still exist? Anyway, It’s interesting how our taste buds change as we grow up. A lot of the foods I didn’t like aren’t just ones that I enjoy now but actually are my absolute favorite.

A piece of lemon meringue pie. A fork is piercing the tip of the slice.

What Ingredients Do You Need for Lemon Meringue Pie?

I’m going to break up the ingredients list into two sections – filling and meringue. The ingredients are simple, but when combined…look out! Perfectly tart filling with the slightly sweet meringue, pie heaven!

For the Filling

  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Lemon Zest
  • Lemon Juice
  • Egg Yolks
  • Butter

For the Meringue

  • Egg Whites (room temperature)
  • Salt
  • Cream of Tarter
  • Sugar

The measurements for each ingredients can be found in the recipe card below.

a picture of measuring cups with ingredients for lemon meringue pie. there are containers of eggs, water, sugar, salt lemon juice, lemon zest, butter, etc.

Should Egg Whites Be Room Temperature For Meringue?

PRO TIP: Separate the eggs while the eggs are cold. They separate much easier when they come straight out of the fridge.

Bring egg whites to room temperature to ensure volume when beating.

Warmer eggs whip faster than cold eggs.

Egg whites right out of the refrigerator will not whip well.

How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie

Be sure you have a pre-baked pie crust (Mom’s Magic Pie Crust or My Favorite Pie Crust) ready to add the filling to. Now I’m going to walk you through each step of making the filling and meringue.

  • Bake the pie at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until the top is golden brown down in the valleys of the meringue.
  • Serve either at room temperature or chilled.
A piece of lemon meringue pie on a dessert plate. A fork in next to the pie and there are lemon wedges and a sugar bowl and cream pitcher in the background.

Is It Safe To Eat Meringue?

Uncooked meringues made with raw egg whites may contain salmonella bacteria, which cause salmonellosis.

However, salmonella bacteria are usually found in the egg yolk, not the whites, but, uncooked whites are still not considered safe.

Once the meringue is cooked, it is safe to eat.

A slice of lemon meringue pie on a white dessert plate. A fork is next to the slice of pie. The filling is bright yellow and the meringue is lightly toasted.

What Makes Meringue Shrink?

High humidity and over baking meringue will cause meringue to shrink.

Meringue should be sealed tightly against the pie crust to help keep the meringue from shrinking.

Make sure that you only have egg whites. Even a little drop of yolk will ruin your meringue. Also make sure your bowl is completely clean, no oil, no water or condensation. Meringue can be a little temperamental, but if you follow these tips, it will come out perfectly fluffy.

A slice of lemon meringue pie on a white dessert plate with a fork next to it. A sugar bowl is in the background.

Can Lemon Meringue Pie Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes, it can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

How to Store Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon meringue pie should be stored in the refrigerator and will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

A slice of lemon meringue pie on a white dessert plate. A fork is next to the pie, and one bite has been taken from the slice.

You’re about to be the person that everyone is calling for their lemon meringue pie cravings! This pie is as good as pies come, and I am a self-proclaimed pie expert! It is sweet, tart, tangy, rich, decadent, and everything you’ll ever want in a lemon meringue pie!

More PIE RECIPES:

A picture of a lemon meringue pie. the meringue is fluffy and slightly browned. There are lemon wedges next to the pie.

Mom’s Lemon Meringue Pie

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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 8

This recipe starts with a flakey homemade pie crust that is filled with smooth and creamy lemon filling and topped with toasted meringue. It is totally irresistible!

For the Filling

  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 Cup corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 Cup water cold
  • 1 1/3 Cup water hot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest about on and a half lemons zested
  • 1/3 Cup lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

For the Meringue

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 1/2 cup sugar

For the Filling

  • Combine corn starch, salt, and sugar in a large sauce or stock pan.

  • Blend in cold water until smooth.

  • Add hot water.

  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and clear (5-8 min).

  • Remove from heat.

  • Stir in lemon juice and zest.

  • Cook 2 min.

  • Blend a small amount of hot liquid with egg yolks-whisking quickly- to bring the yolks up to temperature without cooking them too fast.

  • Return to pan and cook 2 min. stirring constantly.

  • Remove from heat, add butter, and cool to luke warm.

  • Pour into cooked pie shell (I like to use 1/2 a recipe of Kristin’s magic pie crust).

  • Top with meringue and seal to edge of crust.

  • Bake at 350 10-12 min, or until meringue is golden brown in the valleys.

  • Serve room temp or chilled.

For the Meringue

  • Beat egg whites with salt and tarter on high until soft peaks form.

  • Add sugar gradually while beating.

  • Beat until stiff peaks form.

  • Spread meringue on top of cooled lemon filling.

  • Use the back of a spoon or spatula to create peaks.

  • Bake as directed above.

store in the refrigerator

Nutrition Facts

Mom’s Lemon Meringue Pie

Amount Per Serving (1 slice)

Calories 215
Calories from Fat 45

% Daily Value*

Fat 5g8%

Saturated Fat 2g13%

Cholesterol 81mg27%

Sodium 232mg10%

Potassium 36mg1%

Carbohydrates 42g14%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 38g42%

Protein 2g4%

Vitamin A 185IU4%

Vitamin C 4mg5%

Calcium 9mg1%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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