This lemon meringue pie recipe features a rich, tart lemon curd and a mountain of fluffy meringue. An appealing delicacy is created by the mixture of toasty meringue, a sweet and tart filling, and a flaky crust. The dish can be made more easily using a pre-baked pie crust, but you can create one from scratch if you want. This tart lemon meringue pie is simple to make but is a truly special treat because of its airy Italian meringue topping and crisp, flaky handmade butter crust.
The filling for a lemon meringue pie is made with lemon pie filling. It is made using egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and zest and is strengthened with cornstarch to keep its shape when the pie is cut. Although not overly sugary, the pastry is slightly sweet. What you want in a pie crust is flaky and buttery, and the filling extends far.
Lemon Meringue Pie Nutrition Facts
What is Exactly Lemon Meringue Pie?
Beginning in the 18th century, fruit desserts with cooked meringue on top were discovered in France. In his 1739 cookbook, Menon describes Pommes meringuées as thick apple sauce or apple butter coated with a baked meringue. By 1769, an English translation of an earlier edition of Menon (1755?) described a custard that was flavored with “citron” (possibly a mistake for citron’s “lemon”) and covered with baked meringue, known as crême meringuée.
Apple pie topped with meringue, known as “an apple a la turque” (1832), and “apple meringuées” both occur in 19th-century American cookbooks (1846). In 1860, a generic “meringue pie” made of any pie was recorded. Lemon custard pies with meringue topping were frequently referred to as lemon cream pies before the phrase “Lemon Meringue Pie” first appeared in 1869. One of the earliest mentions of this dish in literature can be found in Rhoda E. White’s 1868 book “Memoir and Letters of Jenny C. White Del Bal.”
How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie?
A fantastic classic pie has been reinterpreted down to the crust with a significant amount of lemon and fewer egg yolks in the filling. It is smooth and calming.
Here are the steps to make it:
- To make the crust: The oven should be set on the lowest rack and heated to 425 degrees F. In a larger bowl, combine the flour, one tablespoon sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt one tablespoon of butter. For about 30 seconds, cook the butter while stirring the pan until it turns a light, nutty brown. Pour into a little basin, then allow to cool.
- Add oil and mix. Gradually incorporate the butter oil into the flour with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in just enough ice water to hold the dough together in a ball as you go. Create a disk out of the dough by pressing it.
- Roll the dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter between two pieces of plastic wrap. Invert the dough over a 9-inch pie pan after removing the top sheet. Take away any remaining wrap. At the rim, tuck the edges under and crimp them.
- Pie weights or dried beans should be placed into the shell after it has been lined with foil or parchment paper. After 10 minutes of baking, remove the weights or beans and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is brown. While you prepare the filling, let the pie crust cool on a rack. Three hundred fifty degrees should be the new oven setting.
- Making filling In a medium heavy pot, stir together 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and cornstarch. Stir in hot water gradually. Over medium-high heat, bring the saucepan to a boil while continuously stirring. Cook for 1 minute while stirring on medium-low heat. Get rid of the heat.
- Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, egg, and one egg white in a small bowl. Then, whisk the egg mixture back into the spicy sauce. Whisk a small amount of the hot sauce into the egg mixture. Cook for 30 seconds while tossing and returning to a simmer over medium heat. After melting, add the butter and spoon it into the prepared pie shell. At the same time, you make the meringue and set it aside.
- Three egg whites should be beaten in a big bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy to make the meringue. Beat at high speed until soft peaks form after adding the cream of tartar and a dash of salt. While continuing to whisk the mixture, add 1/2 cup of sugar until firm, glossy peaks form. The vanilla afterward.
- The meringue should be spread over the hot filling and sealed to the crust’s edge. Use a metal spatula, knife, or the back of a spoon to create eye-catching peaks. About 15 minutes of baking time will have the top lightly toasted. The pie should cool for about two hours on a rack to reach room temperature.
- The eggs should be at room temperature.
- Be sure there isn’t any yolk in the egg whites.
- The bowl needs to be clean.
- Add the sugar slowly.
- Include the cream of tartar.
- Do not overbake.
Why is My Pie Watery?
Although lemon meringue pie appears to be an easy, straightforward dish, failing to pay attention to the smallest details might ruin your efforts and leave you with a sloppy, watery mess. Making lemon pie requires three steps: making the lemon filling, blind baking the crust, and adding the meringue topping for a lemon pie that is sweet and smooth, never watery. Complete each step separately and carefully.
The Upper Crust
Start with a crisp crust to prevent a watery lemon meringue pie. One pie crust should be prepared and gently chilled. Pour some dry beans or rice over the parchment paper, distributing them evenly, and then carefully press a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil into the pie crust. As a weight, the dry beans prevent the crust from blowing up while cooking. The pie crust should be baked until golden brown. After about five more minutes of baking, remove the beans. The crucial step is to wait until the crust has completely cooled on a cooling rack before adding the filling. When the filling is added to a heated crust, the sogginess might cause the pie to weep.
Simmer and Stir
Bake Low and Slow
Lemon pie doesn’t store well, even when everything is done correctly. It would be best to store any leftovers in the refrigerator since the meringue topping and the lemon custard are perishable. The moisture in the pie condenses while being refrigerated, making the pie soggy. For optimal results, have lemon pie the same day it is prepared.
How to Store a Lemon Meringue Pie?
Adding the meringue as near serving time as you can keep your pie looking perfect. Avoid putting it in the refrigerator unless you store it for an extended period. You can store the pie by baking the crust and filling, then putting the unfinished pie in the freezer or fridge. Separate from the pie, make a baked meringue and add it just before serving.
This process, which is simpler to carry out than you may imagine, produces a more stable topping. The egg whites and sugar are combined in a double boiler over medium heat, and remove the mixture from the heat as soon as it is heated. Beat the meringue into the firm, glossy peaks after adding cream of tartar to give it added durability and strength.