Makes 8 servings


This no-fail lemon meringue pie is the dessert recipe to choose when you need a great pie. Making a meringue has never been so easy.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, mix 1 1/4 cups sugar with 6 tablespoons cornstarch and salt. Whisk in 1/2 cup cold water, lemon peel, and lemon juice, blending thoroughly. Whisk in the egg yolks. Add the butter and whisk in 1 1/2 cups boiling water.

Step 2

Set pan over medium-high heat and stir with a flexible spatula until mixture boils, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir filling 1 minute more.

Step 3

Pour filling into pie crust.

Step 4

In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup sugar with the remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch.

Step 5

In a deep bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with a mixer on high speed (use whisk attachment if available) until very foamy and no liquid whites remain in bottom of bowl. Continue to beat at high speed and gradually add the sugar-starch mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time. Then beat until whites hold stiff, glossy peaks.

Step 6

Spoon meringue onto hot pie filling. With a spatula, swirl meringue to cover filling completely, touching the rim of the pie shell.

Step 7

Bake in a 325° oven until meringue is browned, about 25 minutes. Set pie on rack until cool, about 3 hours. Serve, or invert a large bowl over pie (take care not to touch meringue) and chill up to 1 day.

Ratings & Reviews

Good recipe, but...

August 25, 2015
This recipe makes a pretty good pie. However, for those not in the know, a few details should have been included in the instructions. First off, the egg yolks MUST be tempered before adding them to the hot mixture. To do this, take about a half cup of the hot mixture and slooooowly whisk into the yolks to raise their temperature without scrambling them. Then you can add them to the pot and continue cooking as directed. If you're still concerned about bits of cooked egg in your filling, simply use a sieve when pouring into the crust. Also, don't skimp on cooking time. The filling should take about 10 minutes after reaching temperature (a slow boil is a good cue), and stir constantly. You'll know it's ready when you dip a wooden spoon into it, remove the spoon and run your finger down the back. If a clean line remains, it's ready. If the liquid runs back to the center of the line, it needs a few more minutes. Lastly, meringue. Use only a metal or glass bowl (plastic retains grease no matter how much you wash it, and any fat is your enemy, including any yolk that may have accidentally gotten into the whites). Make sure the bowl is completely clean, and no yolk has gotten into the whites. Also, take into consideration the weather - humidity wreaks havoc on meringue because the sugar attracts the moisture in the air and your meringue won't get as stiff a peak as you're looking for. Finally, patience. Take your time adding the sugar a little at a time, and give it a few seconds to incorporate. Let the meringue get enough air whipped into it to achieve the desired peaks, but don't overbeat it either, or it will break back down and there's no saving it at that point. As soon as you see stiff peaks, you know it's ready.  

January 03, 2017
Cyrunthie, I couldn't agree with your accolades more!! Tons of meringue and the filling was perfect as well!!!

Johnny2010's Review

October 02, 2010
This is by far the best lemon meringue pie recipe that I ever used! The lemon filling is beautifully tart and sweet. It is also smooth, creamy, but runny. The meringue is wonderful. Using the cornstarch and sugar is brilliant. The meringue keeps those high peaks after the pie is baked and cooled overnight. Everyone just loved it. John

Cynruthie's Review

May 22, 2014
Finally a successful meringue recipe that makes mounds of it. The custard is perfect too. I will definitely keep this recipe. I would also suggest reading through the recipe before starting and slowly add the boiling water to the already heating custard.

atlast's Review

May 26, 2013
At last no more weeping! This is the best recipe I've tried in many a long year. I mistakenly used all of the sugar and the cornflour in the filling, which set absolutely perfectly, if not a little sweet, the set was solid and strong. Did stand stirring all of the required minutes and if not a little more time. The meringue was outstanding, kept the height, and DID NOT WEEP! Not one little tear under the entire pastry. Used the more cornflour and sugar as required OUTSTANDING RECIPE, THANK YOU. I'm keeping this under wraps for the next local show cooking comp :).

sherylsplace's Review

May 01, 2011
This recipe makes a great pie. My only real criticism is the way the recipe is written. Before you begin, read the entire recipe. The amounts of the sugar and the cornstarch are to be divided in specific amounts between the filling and the meringue. So take note of that when you start measuring ingredients. I increased the cornstarch in the filling by 2 tsp which helps it set up a little firmer. Creamy, tart filling and a lovely meringue.

jessicavenditti's Review

November 25, 2009
followed the directions to the letter and the meringue turned out wonderfully, with absolutely no seeping, which was my big concern. The lemon pudding was very tasty but it did not set up as well as I would have liked. I'm about to make the recipe again for Thanksgiving dinner and I plan on increasing the cream of tarter in the pudding. Hopefully that takes care of the problem.

vexilly's Review

June 23, 2012
The 1 1/2 cups of boiling water has to be a typo. The filling is way too liquid.

jayess99's Review

April 20, 2014
this recipe is atrocious. they didn't say that pouring boiling water into an egg yolk mix will cook the eggs, they didn't say that the filling has to be almost thick enough to cut with a knife, and they didn't say that it's going to taste like a storebought pudding. This thing is runny, tastes like egg with no degree of tartness, and I've got company coming in two hours and no dessert. Do I sound angry? Never again will I try recipes from self-proclaimed experts who couldn't cook their way out of a wet sack.This is crap.


January 03, 2017
I have been making pies since I was a teenager, and my lemon pies never came out as perfect as this recipe!! I made two for Christmas Eve this year, and they were absolutely perfect!! Not runny, and the cornstarch in the meringue made the meringue not turn sugary spot on top of the meringue!! Everyone thought for sure I had purchased the pies, that impressed!! Thanks so much for a GREAT recipe!! Getting ready to make one to impress my 84 year old Father In Law this week!!!