Fool-Proof Lemon Meringue Pie recipe, with tips to keep your pie from weeping and how to make the perfect meringue!

I feel like the star behind any great pie recipe is a great pie crust! Once you master a homemade crust you’ll never buy a bland, thin store-bought pie crust again! Don’t miss my step-by-step instructions and photos for the easiest, Perfect Pie Crust, and you can browse all my Pie Recipes here!

A slice of Lemon Meringue Pie served on a white plate with the remaining pie in the background.

Whenever my mom made Lemon Meringue Pie, our home turned into a mini hunger games. You literally had to get a piece and hide it or you’d be out of luck. It’s one of my brother’s all time favorite desserts, he he would even request it as his birthday “cake”. The tart, creamy pie filling mixed with a billowing meringue is just irresistible!

If you haven’t noticed by now, I really, really like lemon pies. My other favorites include my Grandma’s Lemon Chiffon Pie, and the BEST Lemon Sour Cream Pie you will ever eat. I’m finally adding this Lemon Meringue to my blog archives for the ultimate lemon pie trifecta! Don’t ask me which one is my favorite. I could never choose between those three.

How to make Lemon Meringue Pie:
  1. Separate the egg yolks and whites and set aside.

  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest.

  3. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in butter.

  4. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks.  Add a spoonful of the hot sugar mixture into the egg yolk mixture and whisk together.  (The idea is to temper the egg mixture by adding a little bit of the hot mixture at a time so that the eggs yolks don’t start to cook).

  5.  Repeat, adding a few more spoonfuls at a time. Whisk the egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture in the pot.

  6. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly, until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pie shell.

Lemon pie filling being poured into a pie shell to make lemon meringue pie.

How to make Meringue:
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together cornstarch and water.

  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly as the mixture thickens, until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.

  3. In a small bowl stir together cream of tarter and sugar. In a large bowl beat the egg whites with electric mixers until frothy.

  4. With the mixtures running, add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, until fully incorporated. Continue beating until soft peaks.

  5. Add the cornstarch mixture while beating, a spoonful at a time. Mix until stiff peaks form, about 1-2 minutes.

    A bowl of meringue with beaters lifted out of it next to another photo of a lemon pie with the meringue being smoothed on top with a spoon.

  6. Pour the meringue onto the hot lemon filling in the pie shell. Spoon the meringue around the edge of the pie first, and then add spoonfuls to the center until the entire surface is covered.

  7. Make sure the meringue is touching the outer pie crust so that it doesn’t shrink away while baking. Use the back of your spoon to create decorative peaks in the meringue.

  8. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned.

  9. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. This pie is best served the same day.

  10. Store leftover lemon meringue pie in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, covered with aluminum foil.

A lemon meringue pie with a large slice removed from it.

Even though Lemon Meringue Pie is one of the most popular pies, it’s also one of the trickiest pies to perfect if you don’t avoid some simple steps to keep your pie from “weeping”. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

Tips for the perfect Lemon Meringue Pie:
1. A HOT Pie

First, and most importantly, the pie filling should be hot when you spoon the meringue on top. The hot filling will help bake the meringue, instead of just stopping at the surface and “weeping”, causing your meringue to just slide ride off when you slice a piece of pie. It also helps to avoid baking on super humid days.

2. Cornstarch + Cream of Tarter does the trick

My last tip for a fool-proof meringue is using a little bit of cornstarch and cream of tarter in the meringue to help solidify it better for baking.

A slice of lemon meringue pie with a bite removed, and a fork on the plate.

 

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Recipe

A slice of Lemon Meringue Pie served on a white plate with the remaining pie in the background.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 35 mins
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Video

Ingredients
  

  • 1 9-inch pre-baked pie crust
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 large lemon)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large egg yolks , beaten

For the Meringue

  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg whites , room temperature*

Instructions
 

For the Lemon Filling:

  • Separate egg yolks and whites and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. 
  • Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in butter. 
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks.  Add a spoonful of the hot sugar mixture into the egg yolk mixture and whisk together.  (The idea is to temper the egg mixture by adding a little bit of the hot mixture at a time so that the eggs yolks don't start to cook).
  •  Repeat, adding a few more spoonfuls at a time. Whisk the egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture in the pot. 
  • Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly, until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pie shell.

For the Meringue:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a small saucepan, whisk together cornstarch and water.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly as the mixture thickens, until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a small bowl stir together cream of tarter and sugar. In a large bowl beat the egg whites with electric mixers until frothy. 
  • With the mixtures running, add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, until fully incorporated. Continue beating until soft peaks. 
  • Add the cornstarch mixture while beating, a spoonful at a time. Mix until stiff peaks form, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour the meringue onto the hot lemon filling in the pie shell. Spoon the meringue around the edge of the pie first, and then add spoonfuls to the center until the entire surface is covered. 
  • Make sure the meringue is touching the outer pie crust so that it doesn't shrink away while baking. Use the back of your spoon to create decorative peaks in the meringue.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned. 
  • Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. This pie is best served the same day.
  • Store leftover lemon meringue pie in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, covered with aluminum foil.

Notes

*Fresh eggs work the best for the meringue to whip properly.
Adapted from All Recipes

Nutrition

Calories: 315kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 195mgPotassium: 88mgSugar: 33gVitamin A: 220IUVitamin C: 6.8mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 0.9mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

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Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

 

*I originally shared this recipe March 2015. Updated February 2019.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. I’ve been a baker for over 50 years! The meringue DID NOT work. Never tried adding that cornstarch mixture but did so anyway! It NEVER got to stiff peaks! SUCH A WASTE OF TIME!

    1. 5 stars
      I made two of these pies yesterday…..the meringue was the highest and best I have ever made! Got rave reviews from friends and my husband!! If someone’s didn’t turn out, they must not have followed the recipe explicitly.

    2. 5 stars
      I made two of these pies yesterday…..the meringue was the highest and best I have ever made! Got rave reviews from friends and my husband!! If someone’s didn’t turn out, they must not have followed the recipe explicitly.

    3. 5 stars
      I used a Kitchen Aid counter top stand mixer and had no problem with the meringue. I followed as the directions were given.

  2. 5 stars
    I had never made a lemon pie even though it is my favorite until I tried this recipe. I was a little intimidated about how the meringue would turn out, and had heard so many stories about the pie being runny. My grandma used to make it for me all the time when i was a kid. I’ve have made this recipe twice now, and it has turned out fabulous both times. It is as good as my grandmother used to make, and the meringue topping is beautiful.

  3. 5 stars
    The only change I made was 1/8 C additional sugar in pie filling. The filling was excellent. This was a new to me method of making meringue but it is amazing, tall and beautiful!

  4. 5 stars
    I have made this lemon meringue pie five maybe six times in the last year and a half. It is definitely my go-to lemon meringue. matter of fact it’s the only lemon meringue pie I have ever made. Best , highest, fluffiest meringue ever. My mom was a home ec teacher, and makes very good meringue but I have now taught her how to make meringue. Thank you for the wonderful recipe

    1. 5 stars
      This the best lemon meringue pie I have ever tried and the directions are perfect! Best part is the meringue! This is my husband’s favorite dessert and I make it for him on special occasions. Thank you for sharing!

  5. 5 stars
    Hello!I started baking last year and enjoy doing it. I particularly like baking from scratch. In wanted to do a lemon meringue and talked with a friend of mine who baked for years and she told me that she has found that making it from the the box is just as hood. Well in looked at the box and compared it to your recipe and decided to try it from scratch. It was great the first time!I have since made it many times ton share with others. Even my friend who said use the box asked me for the recipe. Thanks for taking b the time to post it!

  6. 5 stars
    This is the best lemon meringue pie! My husband requests lemon meringue pie for his birthday each year and I was always too intimidated to make it. I found this recipe last year and he couldn’t stop raving about it. It is better than the best bakery in town (and that’s saying a lot). I have now made the recipe 3 times and it comes out perfectly every time. I’ve used a hand held mixer and a kitchen aid stand mixer and both worked great. We have a dairy allergy in the family so I make it with diary free butter and make a double batch every time. I am always very careful to follow the recipe exactly (other than the butter) and each time I am amazed. Sheer perfection. Makes a very tricky recipe extremely easy and amazed family and friends. Thank you!

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