Are you a lover of lemons and luscious lemon desserts? This dreamy homemade lemon meringue pie has a little extra lemon added, just for you! With a crispy base and zingy lemon filling, piled high with clouds of sweet meringue- this classic lemon meringue pie is a lemon lover’s dream!
Lemon Meringue Pie; Homemade.
If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
For me, hands down the answer is lemon meringue pie- homemade of course!
Lemon meringue pie is my all time favourite dessert. It makes a perfect dessert for parties, special occasions or a fancy afternoon tea. I have even been known to eat leftover lemon meringue pie for breakfast once or twice! And I’m not ashamed. Not even a little bit. When life gives me lemons, I will make a kick ass lemon meringue pie every time.
Lemon meringue pie is a classic recipe- and one that everyone can learn how to make! It is a super easy recipe with homemade lemon filling and meringue.
Over the years, I have made (and eaten) countless lemon meringue pies and trialled different recipes. And after years of tasting and perfecting, I believe that this recipe makes the best lemon meringue pie ever! Follow the easy steps and tips below and you can be eating your very own deliciously lemony pie in no time!
How to Make Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie;
Making lemon meringue pie can be a little daunting, but doesn’t need to be! Follow my tips and tricks below for the perfect lemon meringue pie, every time!
This recipe has an easy, crisp homemade pastry with a zesty lemon filling and the most amazing, marshmallowy meringue to balance the tart lemon flavour. All of the components take time and a little effort, but they are so worth the effort!
- Blind bake the homemade pastry shell. If you don’t feel confident with pastry, I’ve got you covered! This sweet pastry recipe is super easy to follow. It needs to be in the fridge for at least one hour (and then again once it has been rolled and added to the tart case). Chilling the pastry prevents it from shrinking down into the case while baking. To save time, I make mine ahead and store it in the fridge.
- Make the lemon curd filling. The lemon filling needs to be added to the pastry base as soon as it is ready, as it will begin to set quickly. Make sure the pastry is ready to go- you can make the lemon filling while it is baking. Keep the remaining egg whites aside for the meringue.
- Whip the meringue. Beat the egg whites into stiff peaks. They should be able to stand on their own without falling or drooping. Once the peaks have formed, add the caster sugar VERY SLOWLY (one tablespoon at a time) while beating, until completely dissolved. The final result should look glossy, shiny and… delicious. See my tips below for perfect meringue, every time.
- Toast the meringue topping. Add thick peaks of meringue to the top of the lemon filling and toast. You can pipe it for a neater finish, or make it into a messy, spiky and disorganised pile! Bake for five minutes and then increase the grill to high heat. Allow the meringue to toast under the grill (keeping a close eye on it to prevent burning). The meringue will be deliciously soft in the middle and all toasty on top. (Drool!)
Tips for making the BEST homemade lemon meringue pie, every time;
For perfect meringue every time;
Make sure you use clean bowls and equipment. Any residual egg yolk or oil contain fats that can interfere with the egg whites and prevent perfect peaks. My tip is to use three small bowls or cups. Separate your eggs one at a time and then transfer each egg white to a clean bowl to reduce your chances of a stray piece of yolk ending up in the mix.
Use vinegar and cream of tartar in your meringue topping;
Adding starch and acid creates a much more stable foam and helps hold the meringue together. Instead of cream of tartar, you can also use vinegar (white or apple cider) or lemon juice. You won’t taste the vinegar in the final result.
Use fresh eggs;
Fresh egg whites hold their shape better when beaten. Allow your egg whites to reach room temperature before beating. Eggs at room temperature will foam better than cold ones and are more stable during baking.
Lemon curd consistency;
As your curd cooks, it will start to thicken. Whisk continually over low heat to prevent the mixture from catching on the bottom of the saucepan. You want the final result to resemble a custard consistency and coat the back of a spoon. The filling will continue to set in the fridge. Allow it to cool and completely set before cutting.
If you love lemons as much as I do, try these other delicious lemony recipes too!
- lemon meringue cupcakes
- lemon syrup cake with rosemary
- tangy lemon butter
- lemon curd slice
- homemade lemonade
Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie
For the pastry
- 1 ¼ cup plain flour
- 100 grams butter unsalted, chilled, chopped
- ⅓ cup icing sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- chilled water
- 1 ¾ cup caster sugar
- 2 ¼ cup milk full cream
- ½ cup cornflour
- 150 grams butter unsalted, chopped
- 1 ½ cups lemon juice approx. 6-8 lemons
- zest of 4 lemons
- 6 egg yolks lightly beaten
- ⅓ cup condensed milk
For the meringue
- 7 egg whites
- 1 ¾ cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
For the pastry
- Using a food processor on high speed (or use your hands), rub the butter into the flour and icing sugar until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
- While the motor is running (or using your hands), add the egg yolk and mix until combined. If the mixture is still a little dry, add some chilled water, one teaspoon at a time until the mixture has come together and forms a soft, but not sticky, dough.
- Cover and rest the pastry in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Grease and line the base of a 24cm tart case with baking paper and pre-heat oven to 160C°.
- Roll the pastry between two sheets of baking paper to fit the tart case. Place the pastry into the case, trim the edges and prick the base with a fork. Place back into the fridge for at least 20 minutes to chill.
- Cover the pastry with baking paper and cover with baking beads (or uncooked rice if you don't have baking beads). Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the baking paper and baking beads and continue to bake the pastry for a further 20 minutes, or until golden. Set aside to cool.
For the lemon filling.
- While the pastry is baking, place the caster sugar and 1 cup of the milk into a medium saucepan and whisk over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a low simmer.
- In a small jug, mix the cornflour with the remaining milk and stir until smooth and lump free. Pour the cornflour mix into the saucepan and whisk to combine.
- While continuing to whisk over low heat, add the butter and whisk until the butter melts and the mixture is smooth and combined.
- Add the lemon juice, zest and egg yolks. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens (around 5 minutes). Add the condensed milk and whisk to combine.
- Immediately pour the lemon filling into the pastry case and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the filling to set.
For the meringue
- Leave the oven at 160C°. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer, starting on low speed and increasing to high, until stiff peaks form.
- While the motor is still running, start to slowly and gradually add the caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the sugar has dissolved.
- While continuing to beat, add the vinegar and cream of tartar and beat for a further five minutes, or until the mixture becomes glossy and shiny.
- Spoon the meringue mixture over the lemon filling and use the spoon to make little peaks on top. Place into the oven for 5 minutes. Then, turn the grill setting onto high and place the pie close to the top shelf. Keep a careful watch on the meringue and remove from the oven when the peaks become browned, but not burnt. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!
- This recipe is made to be extra lemony. If you prefer, you can reduce the amount of lemon juice slightly, to adjust to personal taste. You can swap some of the lemon juice for a little extra milk or water.
- Store this lemon meringue pie in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- The pastry needs to be rested in the refrigerator so that it doesn’t shrink down into the case during baking. This takes a little time, so if you are short on time, consider prepping and storing the pastry in the fridge ahead of time.
- I find fresh Meyer lemons make the best lemon meringue pie, but any fresh lemons will work.
- For perfect meringue every time, make sure you use clean bowls and equipment. Any residual egg yolk or oil contain fats that can interfere with the egg whites and prevent perfect peaks. My tip is to use three small bowls or cups. Separate your eggs one at a time and then transfer each egg white to a clean bowl to reduce your chances of a stray bit of yolk ending up in the mix.
- Gradually add the sugar (one tablespoon at a time) to the meringue so that the sugar dissolves. Too much at once and it will become grainy.
- Use vinegar and cream of tartar in your meringue topping. Adding starch and acid creates a much more stable foam and helps hold the meringue together. Instead of cream of tartar, you can also use vinegar (white or apple cider) or lemon juice. You won’t taste the vinegar in the final result.
- Use fresh eggs if you can. Fresh egg whites hold their shape better. Allow your egg whites to reach room temperature before beating. Eggs at room temperature will foam better than cold ones and are more stable during baking.
- Lemon curd consistency. As your curd cooks, it will start to thicken. Whisk continually over low heat to prevent the mixture from catching on the bottom of the saucepan. You want the final result to resemble a custard consistency and coat the back of a spoon. It will continue to set in the fridge and it needs to be completely cool and set before cutting.
If you try this recipe for homemade lemon meringue pie, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment or review below, or send me a message. For more food inspiration, tips and to share your own recipes and creations, head over to my Facebook Recipe Group.
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