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Mom’s Lemon Meringue Pie

My mom was famous for her Lemon Meringue Pie growing up. In fact, she still is!  It was often requested for parties or sick visits. (Really, I remember people asking my mom to bring this pie instead of chicken noodle soup when they were sick!)  I often forget how good it is until I make it-then I just can’t stop eating it!

This recipe starts with a flakey homemade pie crust that is filled with smooth and creamy lemon filling and topped with toasted meringue. It is totally irresistible!

A picture of a lemon meringue pie. the meringue is fluffy and slightly browned. There are lemon wedges next to the pie.

Our kids especially love the meringue. No matter how many times I make it with them and they watch the entire process they are convinced it’s marshmallow. I guess it is in a way, but it’s definitely meringue. I love that they are so adamant. “Dad, mom made Grandma’s pie with the marshmallows!” We are starting to not correct them at all as they are pretty darn sure that they are right and nothing is going to convince them otherwise.
A picture of a slice of lemon meringue pie. The filling is bright yellow and the meringue on top is lightly toasted. There are lemon wedges and a sugar bowl in the background and a fork is on the plate next to the slice of pie.
Lemon was something I really struggled with as a kid. I just couldn’t stand that tart flavor at all unless it was a lemon head candy. Do those even still exist? Anyway, It’s interesting how our taste buds change as we grow up. A lot of the foods I didn’t like aren’t just ones that I enjoy now but actually are my absolute favorite.
I have gobs of recipes with lemon like, Panko Crusted Chicken with Lemon Cream Sauce , Lemon Roasted Broccoli, Lemon Raspberry Bars, and Lemon Raspberry Donuts. I didn’t even get into the salads, cupcakes, etc!
A piece of lemon meringue pie. A fork is piercing the tip of the slice.

What Ingredients Do You Need for Lemon Meringue Pie?

I’m going to break up the ingredients list into two sections – filling and meringue. The ingredients are simple, but when combined…look out! Perfectly tart filling with the slightly sweet meringue, pie heaven!

For the Filling

  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Lemon Zest
  • Lemon Juice
  • Egg Yolks
  • Butter

For the Meringue

  • Egg Whites (room temperature)
  • Salt
  • Cream of Tarter
  • Sugar

The measurements for each ingredients can be found in the recipe card below.

a picture of measuring cups with ingredients for lemon meringue pie. there are containers of eggs, water, sugar, salt lemon juice, lemon zest, butter, etc.

Should Egg Whites Be Room Temperature For Meringue?

PRO TIP: Separate the eggs while the eggs are cold. They separate much easier when they come straight out of the fridge.

Bring egg whites to room temperature to ensure volume when beating.

Warmer eggs whip faster than cold eggs.

Egg whites right out of the refrigerator will not whip well.

How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie

Be sure you have a pre-baked pie crust (Mom’s Magic Pie Crust or My Favorite Pie Crust) ready to add the filling to. Now I’m going to walk you through each step of making the filling and meringue.

For the Filling

  • Combine the cornstarch, salt and sugar in a large sauce pan, and then add the cold water stirring until smooth.
  • Add in the hot water and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring, until it is thick and clear.
  • Remove it from the heat.
A saucepan with water and sugar and a whisk.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • Put it back on the heat and cook for 2 minutes.
A sauce pan with lemon pie filling in it. It has a whisk resting in the filling.
  • Take a small amount of the hot liquid and whisk it with the egg yolks in a small bowl. This tempers the eggs so that they don’t curdle when they are added to the rest of the mixture.
A bowl of egg yolks that have been whisked together. There is a wooden cutting board and a whisk by the bowl of egg yolks.
  • Add the tempered eggs back to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter.
  • Allow the mixture to cool to luke warm. I like to make my meringue while I’m waiting for it to cool a little.
A picture of a sauce pan with lemon pie filling. A whisk is in the pan.
  • Pour the lemon filling into a baked pie shell.

Now we will jump to making the meringue…

A picture or a lemon pie. The filling is bright yellow and the crust is light golden brown.

For the Meringue

  • Be sure the egg whites are at room temperature. Combine them with the salt and cream of tarter and whisk them on high speed until soft peaks form.
  • Continue beating and gradually adding the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread the meringue on top of the cooled pie. Make sure to spread the meringue all the way to the crust on all sides. This helps seal the meringue so it doesn’t shrink.
  • Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to create peaks.
A top view of a lemon meringue pie with fluffy toasted meringue on top. There are a few lemon wedges next to the pie.
  • Bake the pie at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until the top is golden brown down in the valleys of the meringue.
  • Serve either at room temperature or chilled.
A piece of lemon meringue pie on a dessert plate. A fork in next to the pie and there are lemon wedges and a sugar bowl and cream pitcher in the background.

Is It Safe To Eat Meringue?

Uncooked meringues made with raw egg whites may contain salmonella bacteria, which cause salmonellosis.

However, salmonella bacteria are usually found in the egg yolk, not the whites, but, uncooked whites are still not considered safe.

Once the meringue is cooked, it is safe to eat.

A slice of lemon meringue pie on a white dessert plate. A fork is next to the slice of pie. The filling is bright yellow and the meringue is lightly toasted.

What Makes Meringue Shrink?

High humidity and over baking meringue will cause meringue to shrink.

Meringue should be sealed tightly against the pie crust to help keep the meringue from shrinking.

Make sure that you only have egg whites. Even a little drop of yolk will ruin your meringue. Also make sure your bowl is completely clean, no oil, no water or condensation. Meringue can be a little temperamental, but if you follow these tips, it will come out perfectly fluffy.

A slice of lemon meringue pie on a white dessert plate with a fork next to it. A sugar bowl is in the background.

Can Lemon Meringue Pie Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes, it can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

How to Store Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon meringue pie should be stored in the refrigerator and will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

A slice of lemon meringue pie on a white dessert plate. A fork is next to the pie, and one bite has been taken from the slice.
You’re about to be the person that everyone is calling for their lemon meringue pie cravings! This pie is as good as pies come, and I am a self-proclaimed pie expert! It is sweet, tart, tangy, rich, decadent, and everything you’ll ever want in a lemon meringue pie!
Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney

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A picture of a lemon meringue pie. the meringue is fluffy and slightly browned. There are lemon wedges next to the pie.

Mom's Lemon Meringue Pie

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
This recipe starts with a flakey homemade pie crust that is filled with smooth and creamy lemon filling and topped with toasted meringue. It is totally irresistible!


For the Filling

  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 Cup corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 Cup water cold
  • 1 1/3 Cup water hot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest about on and a half lemons zested
  • 1/3 Cup lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

For the Meringue

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 1/2 cup sugar


For the Filling

  • Combine corn starch, salt, and sugar in a large sauce or stock pan.
  • Blend in cold water until smooth.
  • Add hot water.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and clear (5-8 min).
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in lemon juice and zest.
  • Cook 2 min.
  • Blend a small amount of hot liquid with egg yolks-whisking quickly- to bring the yolks up to temperature without cooking them too fast.
  • Return to pan and cook 2 min. stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat, add butter, and cool to luke warm.
  • Pour into cooked pie shell (I like to use 1/2 a recipe of Kristin's magic pie crust).
  • Top with meringue and seal to edge of crust.
  • Bake at 350 10-12 min, or until meringue is golden brown in the valleys.
  • Serve room temp or chilled.

For the Meringue

  • Beat egg whites with salt and tarter on high until soft peaks form.
  • Add sugar gradually while beating.
  • Beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread meringue on top of cooled lemon filling.
  • Use the back of a spoon or spatula to create peaks.
  • Bake as directed above.


store in the refrigerator
Nutrition Facts
Mom's Lemon Meringue Pie
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 215 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 232mg10%
Potassium 36mg1%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 38g42%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 185IU4%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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  • "Nous nous attendions 脿 une foule comme beaucoup de gens avaient pr茅 leur a ordonn茅 de sorte qu’ils n’ont pas manqu茅.

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  • I love this site. U all do such a great job. I love the recipes. Thank u all soooo much!!!!

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    • thank you so much Donna!! Means so much to me!

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  • Can you tell me how to find Kristin's Magic Pie Crust – I am pretty new to Blogs – and I also need to know the secret to keeping the crust from falling down into the pan when you bake it – I tried the “bean thing” and all it did was “stink” 🙂

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