Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Enjoy this harmonious blend of silky lemon custard and whipped egg whites with a recipe that delivers up the perfect pie.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon meringue pie pairs rich lemon custard with a topping of whipped egg whites.

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp

Lemon meringue pie pairs rich lemon custard with a topping of whipped egg whites.

Although an earlier version of this favorite has been attributed to Alexander Frehse of Switzerland, this classic pie with a lemon custard filling and a light meringue topping was established in America by a Philadelphia confectioner by the name of Elizabeth Coane Goodfellow. An ancestor of Jackie Onassis, Goodfellow was a force to be reckoned with. Not only was she a revered pastry chef, she operated a renowned cooking school and founded an association of boarding schools for young girls with an emphasis on cooking skills.

Versions of lemon custard were around, but Goodfellow’s reputation as baker and her influence on those who followed her lands her the credit, even though she never published a cookbook. This fantastic pie is a legacy in its own right, but Goodfellow’s greatest contribution to the culinary world can be felt with just about every published recipe. It was Goodfellow who first insisted that recipes be written with the ingredients listed separately before the directions. The format was revolutionary at the time, but the structure endures to this day.

And so we dedicate this recipe to Elizabeth Coane Goodfellow.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients

  • 9 inch pie shell
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

Blind bake (pre-bake) pie shell for 15 minutes in a 425 degree oven.

Whisk 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, water, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter together in a medium saucepan.

Bring to boil over medium-high heat.

Temper egg yolks by stirring a little of the hot filling into a bowl with the yolks.

Add egg yolks to saucepan and whisk until smooth and well combined.

Pour filling into baked pie shell.

Combine egg whites, 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl.

Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Carefully spread over filling in shell, making sure meringue touches crust all the way around.

Bake 12 minutes at 375 degrees until peaks are brown.

Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Sow and Plant Fruiting Vegetables

Large leaves, golden flowers and heavy yields make squashes, zucchini and cucumbers ideal plants for productive pots.

Freezing Fruit

Can you freeze fruit? Yes—all different kinds. Learn the tricks of preserving juicy, delicious fruits for tasty year-round eating.

Easy Pumpkin Pie Recipe

What would Thanksgiving be without pumpkin pie? Whip up this traditional dessert as the perfect finish to your Thanksgiving meal.

Preserving and Freezing Fruit

For the gardener who has a bountiful harvest, a few simple steps can help preserve fruit for year-round use.

Growing Fruit Trees Indoors

Growing dwarf fruit trees indoors can add a lively touch of freshness to your indoor setting.

Growing Dwarf Fruit Trees

Turn your backyard into a miniature orchard—these gorgeous fruit trees are perfect for pots.

Coconut Cream Pie Cocktail Recipe

When it's cold outside, warm up with this indulgent cocktail that tastes like rich coconut cream pie. Topped with toasted coconut and graham cracker crumbs, it's a boozy twist on the classic dessert.

Fruit of Your Labor: Growing Blueberries

Five easy steps for a productive harvest.

A Surprising Way to Banish Fruit Flies

Get rid of fruit flies by pouring them a nice glass of wine.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

This quick and easy pumpkin pie recipe from the Bent Fork Bakery is perfect for any holiday party.