This is a very fun recipe to follow, because Grandma makes it sweet and simple. With a delicious homemade pie crust, tart and smooth lemon filling, and a fluffy toasted meringue topping, it’s impossible to resist.with lots of tips and tricks for a perfect pie every time! No more weeping and shrinking. This’s the BEST!
How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie
Over the years and especially the past few months, I learned that lemon meringue pie can be a daunting process but it doesn’t have to be. Let me make this recipe easy for you by giving you a tested (and praised!!!) recipe, lots of helpful recipe notes, and a video so you can watch it come to life.
- Blind bake pie crust
- Prepare lemon meringue pie filling
- Whip meringue topping
- Spread meringue on top of filling
- Bake pie until toasty brown on top
Now that you have a general idea of the process, let’s learn why this lemon meringue pie recipe works and what mistakes to avoid.
How to store lemon meringue pie:
Do you have to refrigerate lemon meringue pie?
Yes. Leftover lemon meringue pie should be refrigerated, covered.
How do you store lemon meringue pie overnight?
Store lemon meringue pie in the fridge, covered. That being said, lemon meringue pie is best when served the same day, because meringue topping doesn’t hold its prime shape for too long.
Can you make meringue ahead of time?
No, meringue is best when made right before it’s used.
Can you freeze lemon meringue pie?
No, unfortunately, I don’t recommend freezing a lemon meringue pie, because it’ll alter the texture of the filling and meringue. Meringue will turn gummy and chewy.
Although lemon meringue pie is always associated with spring/summer for me, I’ve occasionally served it for Thanksgiving too. (I’m telling ya, it’s a family favorite!) And I hope you’ll give this recipe a try.
Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe !!
Pie Crust Ingredients :
- 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (see Cook's Note)
- 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 to 6 tablespoons ice water
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice plus 2 teaspoons gently packed lemon zest
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Instructions For the pie crust:
- Pulse the flour, shortening, sugar, salt and vinegar in a food processor until the mixture looks like damp sand, about 10 pulses. Add the butter and pulse until you can still see large pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle in 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse until the dough begins to come together. Pinch the dough; if it doesn't hold together, add up to 3 more tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together when pinched. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap and dump the dough onto the plastic. Using the edges of the plastic, press the dough into a disc. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and preferably overnight. (Freeze up to 2 months.)
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 13-inch round. Place in a 9-inch pie dish, gently pressing the dough into the edges and letting the excess dough drape over the sides. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Trim any excess dough with a paring knife and crimp the edges decoratively or press them down with the tines of a fork. Prick the dough on the bottom all over with a fork. Place a sheet of parchment paper inside the dough and fill with pie weights or uncooked rice or beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment and weights and bake until the crust is deep golden brown on the edges and lightly golden in the center, 10 to 12 minutes more. Let the crust cool to room temperature.
For the filling:
- Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the lemon juice and 1 1/2 cups water and whisk to combine. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate medium bowl. Place the sugar mixture over medium heat and cook, continuing to gently whisk, until the mixture begins to bubble and is extremely thick. Temper the eggs yolks by slowly adding half of the hot sugar mixture to the yolks while constantly whisking. Add the tempered yolks to the saucepan and return to the heat. Bring the mixture back to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and lemon zest until completely melted and incorporated. Pour the filling directly into the pie crust and cover with plastic wrap pressed directly against the surface of the filling (see Cook's Note). Refrigerate while you make the meringue.
For the meringue:
- Add the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment along with the sugar, cream of tartar and salt. Whisk together to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture feels hot to the touch. Transfer the bowl to the mixer and add the vanilla. Whisk on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the pie and gently mound the meringue on top of the filling. Use an offset spatula to make sure the meringue completely covers the filling and meets the crust all around the edges. (This will seal in the filling and help prevent weeping.) Use the offset spatula to create swirls and peaks in the meringue. Toast the meringue using a kitchen torch or broil in the oven until golden brown, keeping an eye on the meringue if broiling, 1 to 2 minutes. Refrigerate the pie until the filling is completely cool and set, about 4 hours.
- Cook’s Note : When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.) If the filling has scrambled a bit, or looks as if it is not smooth, strain the mixture directly into the pie crust to remove any solid bits.
TIPS TO MAKE PERFECT MERINGUE:
- Make sure the mixing bowl and whisk are super clean and free of any oil/fat residue.
- Be careful when separating egg whites and yolks. You don’t want even smallest drop of yolk in your egg whites. Egg yolk is fat and it’ll compromise the meringue structure
- Room temperature egg whites whip faster and achieve better volume. Simply let the egg whites sit on the counter for about 30 minutes.
- Be careful not to over-whip the meringue. Stop as soon as it holds a peak when you lift the mixer.
- It’ll be hard to spread overly thick meringue.
- The meringue will start breaking, causing weeping.
TIPS TO PREVENT WEEPING MERINGUE:
- Cornstarch – adding a little bit cornstarch in the meringue stabilizes the meringue preventing it from weeping even on a hot day.
- Cover the pie with meringue while the lemon filling is piping hot. That way piping hot filling cooks the meringue from the bottom, preventing the meringue from breaking down.