This lemon meringue pie is the perfect lemon dessert. It has a flaky homemade pie crust, a silky, tart lemon filling, and is topped with clouds of torched meringue.
Hi hi! Just popping in to share this super delicious lemon meringue pie recipe! I tested and re tested this recipe, until I was able to get the smoothest, silkiest lemon filling, wrapped up in a flaky pie crust, and finished with mounds of fluffy torched meringue.
This lemon meringue pie is an absolute winner - I took my various test to a bunch of different friends, and they all raved about it, particularly how amazing smooth the filling is and how well it is complimented by the meringue topping.
I love making lemon desserts, and I love making homemade pie, and I didn't have a lemon meringue pie recipe on here, so I knew what I had to do! To me, this is the best lemon meringue pie recipe - the filling is super super smooth, and I just love all things toasty meringue.
Lemon meringue pie is a great make-ahead pie recipe - you can bake the whole thing up to 1-2 days ahead, and then add the meringue just before serving. Just the best - I love it so much and I hope that you do too!
Components of Lemon Meringue Pie
This easy lemon meringue pie recipe has a few components, but the workload is easy to break up, and I promise the extra work is so, so worth it!
- Flaky pie crust. I use my go-to homemade pie crust recipe, which gets fully blind baked before the lemon filling is added.
- Lemon filling. This is more of a lemon tart filling recipe than a pie, but I wanted to use it because of how punchy and silky smooth it is. It's just so good and makes for what I think is the best lemon meringue pie.
- Meringue Pie Topping. I use my favourite Swiss Meringue recipe, which I love because it is super smooth, easy to work with, and just so much fun to torch once it is on the pie.
How to make Lemon Meringue Pie
This easy lemon meringue pie recipe has a couple of steps, but I promise that if you follow the recipe correctly, you'll make the most amazing lemon meringue pie!
- Blind bake your pie crust. The second baking period of this lemon meringue pie is at a super low temperature, so I like to fully blind bake my pie crust before proceeding with the recipe.
- Make the lemon filling. This is an egg set custard, where you make a syrup from lemon juice and sugar, then infuse it with zest, and temper eggs and yolks with the warm syrup and cream, before straining into your blind baked pie crust. It's super smooth, super lemony, and just so, so good.
- Bake the pie. This lemon meringue pie filling bakes at a super low temperature - 110°c / 230°f, until the edges are set but the middle is still jiggly.
- Cool the pie. Cooling it slowly is super important. I cool my lemon meringue pie in the oven with the door cracked until room temperature, then you can either store it at room temperature or in the fridge until you are ready to add the meringue.
- Make the Swiss Meringue. The final step in this lemon meringue pie is to make the swiss meringue topping, pile up onto the pie, and torch to perfection.
The best meringue for Lemon Meringue Pie
I use a Swiss meringue to top my lemon meringue pie. It is my favourite - I also use it on my lemon meringue bars, and to make the most perfect pavlova. A Swiss meringue gets cooked over a water bath before being whipped up, which makes it safe to eat without the need for baking.
It also makes it perfect for torching, which I love to do. I haven't tried to make this recipe with a different meringue, so I really recommend making the Swiss. You also don't need to add meringue if you want to leave it plain and have an amazing lemon pie recipe, or add whipped cream! You can also leave the meringue plain if you like, but it will be super sticky.
This meringue recipe makes enough for a hefty meringue topping - the good thing about baking in grams is that meringue is just a ratio of 1:1.5 of egg whites to sugar, so weigh however many whites you have, and use 1.5x that weight in sugar, and that is the perfect meringue ratio if you want to scale the recipe!
How to torch meringue
I use a blow torch to torch my meringue - I use a bernzomatic from the hardware store. I find these larger torches are generally better than a culinary torch - they are easier to control and you can torch things from further away as the flame is larger, giving you a nice even torch.
Once you have spread the meringue on top of the lemon meringue pie, light up your torch and carefully move it back and forth over the meringue to toast it to perfection.
Can I put the meringue under the grill?
I haven't tried torching the meringue any other way than using the blow torch - I don't know how well it would go putting the lemon meringue pie under the grill / broiler because the lemon filling is quite delicate, so I would worry that it would melt.
Pie Crust for Lemon Meringue Pie
I use my foolproof homemade pie crust recipe for this Lemon Meringue Pie recipe.. The recipe makes two discs of pie dough, so you can freeze one to use in another single crust pie recipe, or store for another time.
Does Lemon Meringue Pie need to be blind baked?
Because this lemon meringue pie goes back in the oven at a super low temperature, I prefer to fully blind bake the crust before adding the lemon pie filling. The filling is super wet, so this ensures that the crust is sealed off, and prevents it from going soggy.
To give an extra layer of insurance, I brush the inside of the crust with egg wash, then return it to the oven for 2 minutes to set.
For all my tips on par-baking a homemade pie crust, check out my post: How to blind bake pie crust
How to break up the workload for Lemon Meringue Pie
There are a few ways that you can break up the workload for this lemon meringue pie recipe to make it easier on you.
Remember that the pie does need quite a long time in the oven to cool down with the door cracked - you could bake it in the evening and leave it to cool down overnight in the oven. Here are a few options for breaking up the workload:
- Make your pie crust in advance. Pie dough stores for up to 3 days in the fridge, or 3 months in the freezer - I like to make a bulk amount and store in my freezer for whenever I need it.
- Blind Bake your crust ahead of time. Blind baked pie crust can be made up to 24 hours ahead. Store wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature until you are ready to use.
- Make the pie in advance. The lemon meringue pie needs a good amount of time to cool down, so it is great to make the day before you need it and store in the fridge. Store it without the meringue on top, and add the meringue close to serving. If you find that it has gathered some moisture in the fridge, carefully blot it off with a paper towel.
How do you store Lemon Meringue Pie?
I store lemon meringue pie in the fridge, either in an airtight container or lightly covered with plastic wrap. Once the meringue is on the top of the pie, it may not hold the crispy torched exterior but I like to blow torch the sides to add some extra toastiness to leftover pieces before serving.
The secret to preventing lemon pie from cracking - a slow cool down!
I made this lemon meringue pie about 8 times while testing - I nailed down the filling super fast, then was struggling with it cracking as the pie cooled. This came from a combination of things - over baking the meringue, and then removing it from the oven and leaving it to cool too quickly.
Because the lemon filling is an egg set custard, as it bakes then cools the protein in the eggs contract, causing cracks in the surface of the pie.
I found the way around this was to bake the lemon pie at a super low temperature, until it is just done, then cool it in the oven with the door cracked with a wooden spoon, letting the pie cool slowly, giving a nice crack free surface.
If the pie does crack it's really not the end of the world - that's what meringue is for! I just wanted to get a nice clean surface because I'm super stubborn, and we got there!
How do you get clean slices of pie?
The key to getting super clean cuts of pie - a nice sharp knife, and wiping the knife between cuts.
Wiping the knife between cuts is super important as it cleans the knife off, meaning that the meringue doesn't drag down onto the filling too much.
Frequently Asked Questions
What tools and equipment do you use?
You can find a full list of the tools and equipment I use on my products page
Which pan did you use?
What is heavy cream?
Heavy cream, or 'heavy whipping cream' is the cream you use to make whipped cream. Some countries have different varieties of cream, which is why I specify. Use the kind you would use to make whipped cream!
What do you serve with lemon meringue pie?
If you don't want to do the Swiss meringue topping, you could also top this pie with softly whipped cream, which would go so nicely with the lemon filling!
For more pie recipes, check out:
Made this recipe and love it?
If you made this recipe then I would LOVE for you to leave me a review below to let me know how you liked it! Also, please make sure to tag me on Instagram if you make it!
A note on salt and oven temperature
It is important to note the type of salt that is called for in a recipe. I use Diamond Crystal salt throughout my recipes - if you use a different sort of kosher salt or regular table salt you will need to adjust accordingly as some salt is 'saltier' than others. Morton's salt is twice as salty, so you will need half the quantity. Same goes for a regular table salt. I am working to get gram measurements throughout my recipes for salt but still getting there.
All oven temperatures are conventional unless otherwise stated. If you are baking on fan / convection, you will need to adjust the temperature. An oven thermometer is a great investment to ensure that your oven is the correct temperature.
Using the double / triple function in the recipe card
You will notice that there is a '1X' '2X' '3X' button in my recipe card. This can be used for doubling or tripling a recipe. However, please note that this only doubles the ingredient quantities in the ingredients list and NOT in the method. If there are quantities or pan sizes in the method of the recipe (for example weigh out 150g brown butter), you will need to scale this number manually. It will also not change the baking time in the recipe so you will need to adjust this yourself too. It is always a good idea to read through a recipe fully before doubling it just to check this. If you would like to scale this recipe or convert for another pan size, use my calculator!
Tools and equipment
For a list of my go-to tools and equipment, I have a post you can refer to here.
Why is this recipe in grams?
I post my recipes in grams as it is the most accurate way to bake. Cups are not only inaccurate but they vary in volume worldwide. There is no way for me to provide one cup measure that works for everyone. However, posting in weight fixes this issue. If you would like the recipe in cups you are welcome to convert it yourself via google, but please do not ask me to do it for you as I am not comfortable providing a recipe using a method that I have not tested. Baking with a scale is easy, accurate, and also makes cleanup super simple. Here is the scale that I use if you would like a recommendation! Here's to accurate baking!Print
This lemon meringue pie is the perfect lemon dessert. It has a flaky homemade pie crust, a silky, tart lemon filling, and is topped with clouds of torched meringue.
- 1 homemade pie crust, shaped into a disc and chilled*
- Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
- Zest of 3 lemons
- 150g freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 165g superfine / caster sugar
- 335g heavy cream
- 2 large eggs (about 110g eggs, not including shell), at room temperature
- 2 egg yolks (about 45g yolk), at room temperature
Swiss Meringue Topping
- 150g egg whites, at room temperature
- 225g granulated sugar
- vanilla bean paste (optional)
- I like to make my pie crust the night before or at least 2 hours before to give it time to rest.
- Once the dough has rested, unwrap and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to ¼” (6mm) in thickness, turning the dough 45˚ often as you are rolling to keep it even. You want the circle to be slightly larger than your pie tin. Transfer to a 9” pie tin, and arrange to ensure that the dough is well settled.
- Trim the dough using scissors or a sharp knife, leaving about one inch excess around the edges. Gently tuck the dough under and onto itself, to give you a neat folded edge. Chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, then remove from the fridge and crimp as desired. Dock all over with the tines of a fork, then chill for a further 30 minutes. If you would like to help the crust set, I sometimes put it in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking.
- While the crust is in the fridge, preheat the oven to 425˚f / 220˚c. Cut a piece of parchment slightly larger than the pie dish. Line with the parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans, filling right to the bottom of the crimps.
- Place the pie tin on a baking sheet, and place in the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven, remove the parchment paper and beans. Drop the oven temperature to 375°f / 190°c. Return the pie crust to the oven and bake for a further 10-12 minutes, until the inside of the crust is evenly golden. Remove from the oven, brush the inside of the pan with egg wash and return to the oven for 2 minutes to set the egg wash.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack in the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 230°f / 110°c.
- Zest the lemons on a microplane or a zester and place zest into a small bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and add the lemon zest, and leave to infuse for 4 minutes, then strain out the lemon zest and discard, and set the syrup aside.
- Meanwhile, in another medium saucepan, heat the cream to just shy of a simmer, then turn off and leave to cool slightly. You want the cream and the syrup to still be warm when they go into the egg mixture.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks until well combined. Whisking constantly, slowly stream in the syrup, and whisk until incorporated.
- Stream in the cream while whisking constantly, and then mix until incorporated.
- Strain the lemon mixture through a fine sieve into a large measuring cup or bowl, ideally with a spout.
- Place a baking sheet on the lower middle rack of the oven, and place the blind baked pie crust on it. Remove any top racks as you are going to pour the filling directly into the shell while it is in the oven.
- Pour the filling into the pie shell, filling right to the edges - depending on the size of your pie pan you may have a tiny bit left over, this is ok.
- If you have big bubbles on the top of your filling you can gently blow torch the surface of the pie to pop any bubbles.
- Bake the lemon pie for 45 to 50 minutes, until the edges are set but the middle is still jiggly (not wavy but jiggly like jelly / jello). It will seem as if it is underbaked, but it will set up as it cools.
- Turn off the oven, and crack the door open using a wooden spoon or something similar. Leave the pie in the oven to cool completely - 2-3 hours, then remove from the oven and either store at room temperature or lightly covered with plastic wrap in the fridge until you are ready to add the meringue and serve. (I find that the pie is easier to cut if it is chilled before adding the meringue)
SWISS MERINGUE AND ASSEMBLY
- Measure the egg whites and granulated sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or other heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture, whisking often and watching the edges carefully, until it no longer feels gritty when rubbed between your fingers, and it registers at least 160°f / 70°c on a thermometer.
- Carefully transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla bean paste. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks just start to form - you do not want the meringue to dry out too much or it will not shape nicely. It should be glossy and slightly stiff. This step can also be done with a handheld electric mixer but it may take a little longer.
- Add the meringue to the top of the cooled lemon pie, and smooth out using an offset spatula.
- Torch using a blowtorch to toast the meringue.
- Slice into pieces using a sharp knife, wiping between cuts.
- Store leftover pie lightly covered or in a container in the fridge.
Keywords: Lemon meringue pie, lemon meringue, lemon pie