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A close up of cut open lemon pie with torched meringue topping
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Lemon Meringue Pie

Searching for the absolute best lemon meringue pie recipe? Look no further! Made with the butteriest homemade pie crust, a creamy lemon filling and piled high with fluffy clouds of sweet meringue, this pie is a lemon lover’s dream come true!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword apple pie, lemon, lemon meringue pie, pie recipe
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 pie slices
Calories 573kcal
Author Erin Jeanne McDowell

Ingredients

For the Pie Crust

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 8 tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup ice water plus more if needed

For the Filling

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice from about 7 lemons
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 9 inch pie crust blind-baked, brushed with egg wash, and cooled completely

For the Mile High Meringue

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Large pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract optional

Instructions

For the Crust

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the cubes of butter, tossing them through the flour until each piece is well coated. Cut the butter into the flour by pressing the pieces between your fingers, flattening them into big shards. As you work, continue to toss the butter through the flour, recoating the shingled pieces. If you have warm hands, you may want to use a pastry cutter. Take care to ensure that all the cubes of butter are fully coated in flour as you work.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the amount of ice water listed in the recipe to the well. Using your hands, toss the flour with the water to start to mix the two together. As the flour begins to hydrate, you can switch to more of a kneading motion but don't overdo it. Then add more water, about 1 tablespoon, until the dough is properly hydrated. It should be uniformly combined and hold together easily, but it shouldn't look totally smooth. Dough that is too dry may have a sort of "dusty" appearance, or pockets of unhydrated flour; it will not hold together and will look crumbly. Dough that is too welt will feel sticky or tacky to the touch.
  • Form the dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using. The dough is best baked at 425 F. Place your prepared (docked/weighted) crust in the oven and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until the edges appear set and are just starting to lightly brown. Remove the crust from the oven and use the parchment paper to lift the pie weights out of the pan. Return th epie to the oven and bake until the crust is evenly golden brown and fully baked, 10 to 12 minutes more. Let the crust cool completely before filling it.

For the Filling

  • In a small bowl whisk together sugar and cornstarch. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the sugar mixture along with the lemon juice, eggs yolks, and salt. Cook, whisking constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Continue to cook, stirring constantly with a spatula, scraping along the edges until the curd thickens and comes to a boil (look for fat bubbles in the center), 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Strain the curd into the cooled pie crust and spread into an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly against the surface of the filling and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours (or up to 24 hours).
  • Just before serving, add the meringue topping: Dollop the meringue onto the center of the chilled pie and use a small offset spatula to push the meringue out toward the edges, but leave a mound in the middle. If desired, use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue.

For the Meringue

  • Bring a medium pot filled with about 2 inches of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Set a medium bowl over the pot, add all the ingredients, and whisk to combine. Then heat, whisking constantly, or beating with a hand mixer, until the mixture reaches 160F on a thermometer.
  • Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whisk or transfer the heated mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Whip the mixture on medium-high speed until it reaches medium peaks, 2 to 3 minutes for the regular meringue, or 4 to 5 minutes for the mile high version.
  • Pile the meringue on top of the cooled pie. Spread the meringue out to the edges, but keep it mounded a bit higher in the middle. If desired, toast the meringue with a kitchen torch.

Notes

The pie can be made, without the meringue topping, up to 24 hours ahead; add the meringue just before serving.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  

Nutrition

Calories: 573kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 304mg | Sodium: 282mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 1024IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg