Easter is right around the corner and you are probably beginning to plan your menu. When I am hosting a holiday gathering and providing the food, do you know what I start with? Dessert! Cakes, Cupcakes, Pies, Cookies, you name it. One of my favorites though is the Lemon Meringue Pie. This pie is surprisingly easy to make and is the perfect, refreshing treat for Easter Sunday.
How to Make the Lemon Meringue Pie Filling
The first thing you'll need to start with is the pie crust. If you have a Homemade Pie Crust Recipe that you absolutely love, by all means, make it!
But if you need to save some time, purchase a frozen 9 inch pie crust. Prick the bottom with a fork and then bake it according to the package instructions.
While the crust is baking, you can begin to make the lemon meringue pie filling. First, zest and juice 2 lemons. (You will need a zester or microplane for this.) If you don't have 1/2 cup of lemon juice from the lemons, add some extra lemon juice to even the measurement.
Separate 4 eggs into 2 separate glass bowls.
In a medium saucepan whisk together 1 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of water and the lemon juice and zest you just made.
Cook it over medium heat until it boils, stirring the entire time. Put in 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until it is melted and then turn off the heat.
Have 4 egg yokes slightly beaten in a small glass bowl. Gently add 1/2 cup of the lemon mixture to the eggs, a little at a time. This is called tempering the eggs and it keeps them from "scrambling" when they are introduced to heat.
Once tempered, pour the eggs into the pan with the rest of the mixture and bring to a low boil. The mixture should be thick, resembling lemon curd.
At this point, the crust should be finished. Pour the lemon meringue filling into the warm pie crust. Place the pie on a cookie sheet and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
How to Make Meringue
Meringue often intimidates people, but it is nothing more than whipped egg whites and sugar!
In a medium glass bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites you have set aside from before. Beat the whites for about 5 or 6 minutes. They will start to get frothy like steamed milk.
At that point, continue mixing on medium to high speed but add 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar one at a time. Wait a few seconds between each. This ensures that the sugar dissolves well.
Mix for another 5 to 6 minutes or until stiff peaks form. You will know it is done if nothing drips off the whisk and meringue doesn't change shape as it sits.
Now, using a large spoon, put the meringue around the edges of the pie first. Make sure you can't see any of the filling touching the crust. If left open, the filling will ooze out and keep the meringue from baking properly.
Fill in the middle and then use the back of the spoons to create little wisps.
Putting it All Together
Now it's time to bake this beauty! Put the lemon meringue pie on a cookie sheet and bake on the top shelf of your oven. Bake the pie at 350 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tops have browned.
Let the lemon meringue pie rest and come to room temperature before serving. This usually takes about 2 to 3 hours. When you cut into the pie, the meringue should be stiff on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside. The lemon filling will be tart and irresistible!
I try to make this pie the morning of our holiday celebration. It tastes best fresh but can be refrigerated over night. If you do decide to refrigerate, leave the pie uncovered or else it will retain moisture and ruin the meringue.
I have never had lemon meringue pie last very long in my house! In fact, I usually need to make two because guests always want a second piece!
If this dessert tickles your fancy, you may also like to try these popular favorites below! But if baking isn't your thing, and you are in the Knoxville Tennessee area looking for a celebration cake, check out some of the delicious cakes that I make. They are sure to be a hit at any party you have!
Whatever you're cooking up this Easter holiday, I hope it is wonderful and delicious! Happy cooking y'all!
Lemon Meringue Pie
Fo the Lemon Meringue Filling
- 1 9 inch pie crust premade or homemade
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp lemon zest about the amount from 2 lemons
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
For the Meringue Topping
- 4 egg whites
- 6 tbsp granulated sugar
To Make the Lemon Meringue Pie Filling
- Make/heat pie crust according to package instructions. Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork before baking. Remove and set aside.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt.
- Stir in the water, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir continually until the mixture comes to a boil.
- Stir in the butter until it is completely melted.
- Put the egg yolks in a small glass bowl and gentley tempe the yolks with 1/4 cup-1/2 cup of the sugar mixture. Whisk continually so the eggs don't cook.
- Pour the yolks into the saucepan and bring everything to a low boil. Stir regularly until the mixture is thick.
- Remove from the heat and pour into the precooked pie crust.
To Make the Meringue Topping
- In a large glass bowl and while using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, while continuing to beat.
- Beat the egg whites for another 5 to 6 minutes or until stiff peaks form on the whisk.
- Spoon the meringue around the outside of the pie so that the lemon filling is sealed at the pie crust edges. Fill in the center and use the back of the spoon to create peaks.
- Bake the pie on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, or until the peaks are browned.
- Let the pie cool at room temperature until ready to eat.