This easy lemon meringue pie is an old recipe from one of my favorite readers, Cheryl. Cheryl has been making lemon meringue pies for 40 years. Her recipe is double this, baked in a 10 inch pie shell and prepared in a double boiler. This is a smaller version of her lemon meringue pie which you can make in a saucepan and which will fit in a shallow 9 inch glass pie dish or a 9 inch disposable pie pan.
I use glass pie dishes most of the time, but I also like to have a stack of disposable tins on hand so I can make pies and give them away. Since the disposable pie pans are usually a little shallower than the glass pans, they work well with this recipe since.
Cheryl’s Lemon Meringue Pie Crust
As for the crust recipe, there are many to choose from but I tend to always use this one which is a pretty simple all-butter pie crust. Use whichever crust recipe you love or just buy a refrigerated roll-out crust.
The filling is pretty straight forward, as is the meringue. In order to prevent weeping, I make the meringue first so that I can immediately spread it over the piping hot filling.
Cheryl’s Lemon Meringue Pie
1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
3 1/2 tablespoons flour (32 grams)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 large egg yolks, whisked and sitting in a bowl next to stove
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 large whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Have ready a baked 9 inch pie shell. For this pie, use a not-so-deep dish shell.
Combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt in a heavy saucepan. I use a metal All-Clad. Have all the filling ingredients ready to go, but move on to the meringue.
Quickly beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then beat in the cream of tartar and sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla and almond extracts. Set aside.
Now back to the saucepan, turn heat to medium and whisk about half of the boiling water into the sugar mixture. Whisk until smooth and slowly add remaining water. Keep whisking until mixture begins to thicken. This should only take about 2 minutes. It will go from thickened, to gravy like to runny mashed potato-ish. Whisk about a cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, then transfer all of it back into the saucepan. Continue stirring gently for about 2 minutes to cook yolks and thicken mixture, then stir in butter until it melts. Add lemon zest and lemon juice, stirring constantly.
Pour hot filling into the pie shell. With a spatula rub the meringue over the lemon filling, sealing the edges. Bake at 325 until for about 25 minutes or until very golden brown. Cool completely before serving.
This looks beautiful! The ratios of filling/topping/crust are spot on, too!
My mom uses a really weird recipe that actually begins in the microwave of all places. I will say it’s the best lemon meringue pie I’ve ever had, I’ll print the recipe here exactly like she sent it to me.
Lemon Meringue Pie
1.5 cup sugar
9 tablespoons flour
Pinch of salt
1.5 cup of hot water
Mix above ingredients till thick, I use the microwave it takes a bit, stir or use a whisk when it’s really thick you add the next ingredient
3 slightly beat eggs
add some of the mixture to eggs stir and then poor egg mixture back into thick mixture and cook all the mixture in microwave for 2 more minutes. After 2 minutes are up add 2 tablespoons oleo and 1/3 cup lemon juice, stir. You are now ready to poor filling into a cooled pie crust.
Now we make our meringue
3 egg whites
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
Beat whites with vanilla and tartar till peaks form add sugar and when it’s stiff put on top of filling. Stick in oven for just a few minutes on 350 degrees just till meringue is brown and pie is finished.
I’d love to hear feedback if anybody tries it. My advice.. don’t try to do this recipe on the stovetop! Mine burned and made a huge lump.. it actually works really well in the microwave crazy as it sounds.
Martha in KS
Another pretty pie! The “beads” on the meringue is called “weeping”. I remember my Mom’s doing that but I thought the syrupy sweetness was delish – reminds me of cotton candy after you start eating it. I searched for a solution & found some at http://www.baking911.com/howto/meringues.htm. If you’re interested, check it out.
This pie seemed to have a much larger proportion of white to yellow.
I too love getting my food geek on when you do these ‘series’ Anna–like watching a good TV show doing an extended made for TV special! I would have to make the pie sand meringue and just dust the top with sugar or something, though…
My mouth is watering looking at all of the recipes for Lemon Meringue Pie. I am going to have to make one!!
Hi Anna, Glad some of your family liked the lemon filling, yes, it is tart! That’s what we all love and why I try to use really good lemons–home grown when I can find them. I use Kingsford’s corn starch, it is not their recipe on the box. Don’t know about Argo since I have never used that brand. You are right cornstarch companies tend not to use flour, in fact many recipes don’t use a combination of flour and cornstarch.
FYI, cornstarch thickens twice as much flour and is more clear. I never use flour to make gravy, always cornstarch. You don’t get that flour taste in your gravy.
I really like the sound of this filling. I’d like it tart. I think this is what I’ll use for filling when I make one. I think I have an 8″ pie dish. Maybe I’ll use that.
Katrina, I am having fun with lemon meringue pie. I usually get tired of something after making it five or 6 times in a row, but all the little variations in the way you can make it are kind of interesting. I’m enjoying the learning process.
Lindsey, these beads are larger. I haven’t bothered reading about meringue beads yet, but I’ll get to that. They don’t bother me so I don’t care to get rid of them . I should still know how to do it, though. I like Mary’s idea of calling them secret flavor crystals.
Louise, this meringue came out great, yet it’s the same recipe as Betty’s. This morning I was reading Chris Kimball’s meringue method and figure I’ll have to try that just to say I did. But honestly, this basic meringue seems fine to me.
Mary, I’ll check. There’s a good chance it is since Cheryl started making pies a long time ago. I’m surprised Argo would use cornstarch and flour, though. You’d think they’d stick with 100% cornstarch.
Michelle, this recipe is pretty small so if you mess up, you will not have wasted too many ingredients. Also, meringue pie is one of those recipes where it really helps to have a stand mixer.
Your meringue looks gorgeous. Really nice job.
I’ve never made a meringue pie, but I really need to soon. I keep thinking about it, so I should just go on and do it. Thanks for the inspiration.
I would have to check, but this recipe seems similar to what I remember is the recipe on the Argo cornstarch box. That filling recipe is made in a sauce pan as opposed to double boiler. I think that’s the recipe I always use. I will double check at home. Sometimes if I have an extra egg white hanging around, I’ll throw that in the meringue because I like a high top.
Your pies are looking lovely; I agree this one looks better than the B.C. version; and those beads ALWAYS form don’t they?? I tell everyone they’re secret flavor crystals.
The meringue is more attractive on this pie than the Betty Crocker version. 🙂
these look great! I love your meringue breakdown. I actually like the little beads, although it doesn’t look as pretty when they form. Love lemon anything. I’ll definitely have to try one of these this weekend.
Boy, you sure are having fun with that pie! They both look good to me. I’d have to try a slice of each and let you know. 😉