Zesty Lemon Meringue Pie

The pie serves up powerful, puckery citrus flavor, plus a cloud of fluffy meringue. If you prefer a gentler lemon flavor, decrease the lemon juice to 3/4 cup and increase the water to 1 1/4 cups.


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1 prebaked 9-inch pie shell*
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
1 cup strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/3 cup sugar
5 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
*Homemade crust is preferred but you can use a refrigerated, store bought brand. Frozen pie crusts are a last resort.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In a medium saucepan whisk together the sugar and cornstarch.
  2. Gradually add the water and lemon juice, whisking until the cornstarch dissolves and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add the yolks and lemon zest and whisk to blend.
  4. Place over a medium-high flame and cook, whisking constantly, until the filling thickens and boils—about 8 minutes.
  5. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and set aside while you prepare the meringue.
  6. Using an electric mixer, beat the whites and cream of tartar together in a large bowl until soft peaks form.
  7. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until stiff, shiny peaks form.
  8. Mound the meringue on top of the warm lemon filling, spreading to seal to the crust at the edges.
  9. Bake the pie until the meringue is golden, 20–25 minutes.
  10. Cool the pie for 1 hour, then refrigerate for at least 2, or up to 5 hours.
  11. Serve cold.


Preparation Time: 
45 minutes; Baking time: 20 minutes; Cooling time: 2+ hours.