Classic Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Classic Lemon Meringue Pie is exceptional and is absolutely beautiful to behold!  The lemon flavor is a sweet and tangy slice of heaven.  

In this perfect Lemon Meringue Pie, a tart lemon filling is piled high with fluffy meringue for a dessert that is impossible to resist.  This is the perfect recipe and you will ever need – It is easy to make and so good!

Many families enjoy serving this pie as one of the desserts on their Thanksgiving table.  This Classic Lemon Meringue Pie recipe is exceptional as it tastes like a sweet and tangy slice of heaven.  We also provide tips on how to make perfect meringue.


Lemon Meringue Pie


Check out more great Pie Recipes.



Classic Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe:
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins

* Use fresh eggs to make meringue, and these fresh eggs should be at room temperature.  Old eggs simply will not produce the fluffy volume required by meringue.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Classic Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe
Servings: 8 servings
Lemon Meringue Pie:
  • Pastry for 9-inch one crust pie
  • 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs (optional)
  • 1 cup sugar (granulated)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 5 large eggs (yolks and whites separated into individual bowls), yolks slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed (approximately 2 to 3 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Meringue Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature (reserved from pie recipe)*
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar (granulated)
Step 1: Pre-Bake The Pie Shell:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Adjust oven rack to center of oven.

  2. Prepare pie pastry; dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes before rolling.

  3. Sprinkle work area with 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs or some flour.  Roll refrigerated pastry with floured rolling pin, sprinkling additional crumbs underneath and on top to heavily coat dough.  Roll pastry 2 inches larger than an inverted 9-inch pie pan.  Fold pastry into quarter-folds and ease into pan, pressing firmly against bottom and side; flute edges.  Prick crust at 1/2-inch intervals before baking.  Bake 15 minutes; reduce oven to 350 degrees F. and bake another 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

Step 2: Prepare Lemon Curd Filling:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and water; simmer until translucent and just begins to thicken, approximately one minute.  Remove from heat.

  2. Slowly and gradually, whisk in egg yolks.  Return egg mixture to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute until you see the curd start to boil and rise up and get foamy.  Remove from heat and gently stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and butter until well combined.

  3. Pour the prepared lemon curd filling into a baked and cooled pie shell.

  4. If you need to let the Lemon Curd Filling sit before using, cover with plastic wrap to keep it hot, as you want to add hot filling to the cooled pie crust.

  5. Lemon Curd Tips:

    It's important to start out cooking a curd at a low heat to prevent the eggs from separating from the mixture while cooking.

    In order to get the Lemon curd to set and thicken properly, make sure the lemon curd comes to the beginning stage of boil and foams up. When you see the foam expanding and rising up in the saucepan, remove from the heat right away. You can use a digital thermometer and check that the lemon curd has reached an Internal Temperature of 170 degrees F.  

    To Salvage A Runny Lemon Curd

    Corn starch can be added to a runny lemon curd to help salvage. Take a small scoop of cold lemon curd and add to small bowl and add in some corn starch. Stir together to make a slurry. Pour the lemon curd back into a saucepan and whisk in the corn starch slurry into the lemon curd to combine. Reheat the lemon curd to bring back to a simmer and boil.

    If all hope is lost for thickening, the flavor of the lemon curd is still amazing to use as a ice cream topping or sauce for a cake.

Step 3: Prepare Meringue Topping:
  1. Check out my hints and tips on making a Perfect Meringue.

  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine cornstarch and water; bring to simmer, stirring until mixture thickens and turns translucent.  Remove from heat and let cool.

  3. In a large bowl of your electric mixer, beat egg whites and vanilla extract until frothy.  In a small bowl, combine cream of tartar and sugar; add to egg whites, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until soft peaks form, approximately 2 minutes.  Slowly add cornstarch mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

  4. Spread prepared Meringue Topping over hot pie filling, being careful to spread the meringue to the edges of the pie pasty to prevent shrinkage during baking.

Step 4: Baking Lemon Meringue Pie:
  1. Bake approximately 20 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.  NOTE:  If meringue start to brown too quickly, covering top loosely with foil after the first 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely, approximately 3 hours, on a wire rack before cutting and serving.  To cut baked meringue into serving pieces, use a knife dipped in cold water.

  2. Makes 8 servings.

  3. The pie may be refrigerated up to one day, but this pie is best served the day it is made.


Thermapen Internal Temperature Cooking ChartI get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer. Originally designed for professional use, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world.  I only endorse a few products, on my web site, that I like and use regularly.

You can learn more or buy yours at: Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer.

Sponsored Content


Lemon Meringue Pie




Baking    Fruit Pies & Tarts    Lemons    Meringue    Pies   

Comments and Reviews

21 Responses to “Classic Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe”

  1. Lorene B. Doyle

    You gave ingredients for Graham cracker crust; but, gave instructions for flour pastry.

    • Linda Stradley

      The recipe asks you to sprinkle some graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of the regular crust.

    • Ashley lynn

      Very runny. I followed the directions exactly and the lemon did not set.. I wasn’t too happy,

      • Linda Stradley

        Overcooking the filling can cause it to get runny.

  2. Delores Mitzel

    You must have a smaller pie pan then mine – mine is 9″ pie pan and the recipe only filled half the inside of the pie and the meringue just barely covered the top of the pie. So there was no height to my pie. I was a bit disappointed with that. However the flavors are awesome. The only thing I will change is double the recipe for my pie pan. I didn’t use the Graham cracker crumbs either I didn’t understand why you used them.

  3. Rose Horn

    Love this recipe. Thanks for recipe

  4. Jim Wood

    I’m rather a new kitchen chef and I, too, was wondering why the graham cracker crumbs on top and bottom of the pie? Also, would ready made pie crusts, either flour or graham cracker, work? Thank you for posting. Looks delicious.

    • Linda Stradley

      That was a typo. Thank you for letting me know. I made the change.

  5. Deborah

    Very tasty pie!

  6. Janelle

    This was my first attempt at lemon meringue pie and it turned out great!

  7. Gloria P. Brown

    This recipe is easy to follow and end product was delicious especially it being my first time making a meringue pie!!

  8. Lori Testa

    I know nothing….NOTHING…about baking, but I love lemon meringue and wanted something new for Thanksgiving. I am amazed at the taste! I cut a small piece out and it seems to be sticking together, but as I tried to pull the piece out I could see the pie is a bit runny. I’m sure I overcooked the filling. I was most worried about the meringue, but it is so good. Thank you – I will make again and again!

  9. Jean K.

    I have made Lemon meringue pie many times, but this was the most complicated recipe. I must have dirtied every dish In the house. And 5 eggs! Don’t know why it didn’t fill one lady’s pan. All that said, it was the best lemon meringue ever. I think the graham crumbs kept the crust crisp. Sometimes lemon filling soaks into plain crust making it soggy I think I will try that for a custard pie too. Thanks for the recipe.

  10. Hunter Staley

    I really loved this recipe the only few flaws are that I didnt understand the gram cracker crumbs and the meriengue needs more sugar about 1/2 a cup more

  11. Lynn

    I have made many pies and this one sounded great. Unfortunately the lemon came out very runny. I had to dig out my older recipes and remake the pie the following day.

  12. Stacey

    The lemon curd did not set. Very funny and had to eat with a spoon. Very flavorful though.

    • Whats Cooking America

      You have to make sure it comes to a full boil and foams up, then remove from the heat. It also have to fully cool down to set.

  13. Norms

    I made the pie yesterday (I forgot to get a photo!) and it was amazing! It was a big hit and I’ll definitely make it again!

  14. Sue

    I would love to have recipe for the pie crust

  15. Diane

    This is the first time I ever made a lemon meringue pie. I took a little work but it turned out really good. The custard filling was delicious. I did have a little bit of trouble with the meringue I think I was so afraid of over whipping it that I under whipped it and it wasn’t very high. Otherwise it was a wonderful pie


Leave a Reply