Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

The Classic Lemon Meringue Pie is a delightful dessert that masterfully balances the tangy zest of lemons with the sweet, airy lightness of meringue. At its heart is a smooth, vibrant lemon filling, typically made from a mixture of fresh lemon juice and zest, sugar, and eggs. This mixture is often thickened with cornstarch or flour to achieve a lusciously creamy consistency. The filling is encased in a pre-baked pie crust, usually a flaky pastry type, providing a buttery and slightly crisp texture that contrasts beautifully with the soft filling.

Once the lemon filling is poured into the crust, the pie is crowned with meringue. This meringue is a fluffy, cloud-like topping made from whipped egg whites and sugar, beaten until glossy and forming stiff peaks. It’s carefully spread over the lemon filling, often artistically peaked with a spatula or spoon to create an attractive, textured surface.

In the final baking phase, the pie is returned to the oven. The heat works its magic, gently browning the meringue’s peaks to a delicate golden hue while leaving the valleys of the meringue soft and white, creating a visually stunning contrast. The final product is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors – the crispness of the crust, the smooth, tart lemon curd, and the sweet, light meringue. Each bite offers a burst of lemony freshness, followed by the sweet, melting sensation of the meringue, making the Classic Lemon Meringue Pie a timeless favorite.

Yields 1, 9-inch pie



  • 4 egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pre-baked pie crust (store-bought or homemade)


  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. Preheat oven to 375º F and arrange oven rack to the middle of oven.
  2. Beat eggs yolks together in a medium bowl (save egg whites for meringue). Set the bowl aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine water, sugar, flour and salt, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  4. Boil for 1 minute, then slowly add hot mixture to egg yolks while whisking continuously. (This tempers the yolks and keeps them from cooking once you put them back on the heat.)
  5. Once you’ve added at least half of your hot mixture to the yolks, return mixture (and remaining yolks) to the stove, on low, continuing to whisk vigorously.
  6. Cook for 1 more minute.
  7. Remove from heat again and add butter, lemon juice and zest. Mix thoroughly and pour into (cooled) pie shell.
  8. For meringue: beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks form.
  9. Slowly add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. 1-2 minutes.
  10. Spread meringue onto pie filling while it’s still hot and make sure to spread it out to the outer edges of the crust to “seal” the topping.
  11. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
  12. Let cool completely before serving.
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