Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

This is the perfect lemon meringue pie! With a delicious homemade pie crust, tart and smooth lemon filling, and a fluffy toasted meringue topping, it’s impossible to resist.

Lemon meringue pie slice

I write this as snow falls outside and winds whip around my house at 50 mph. Despite the current weather conditions, the calendar says spring and Easter are on the horizon. And as someone who lives and breathes her daily planner, that means it’s time to prepare for the change of seasons. Close up that fireplace, place some tulips in a vase, open those windows… whoa that wind! Let’s keep them closed!

Let’s welcome a fresh new season with a fresh new pie– the pie I’ve been taunting you with for weeks!! The beautiful, the timeless, the Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

Learn how to make classic lemon meringue pie with a creamy and sweet lemon filling, delicious meringue, and homemade flaky pie crust! Recipe on

My lemon meringue pie recipe has a billowy and toasty meringue topping, a balanced sweet/tart lemon filling, and an extra thick and flaky pie crust. I worked on this recipe for a long time, making at least a dozen meringue pies in the past few months. Both my kitchen and head were exploding lemons. Whenever we had friends or family stop by, I’d force lemon meringue pie on them. “PLEASE TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS” I begged while barely blinking.

Learn how to make classic lemon meringue pie with a creamy and sweet lemon filling, delicious meringue, and homemade flaky pie crust! Recipe on

How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie

Over the years and especially the past few months, I learned that lemon meringue pie can be a daunting process but it doesn’t have to be. Let me make this recipe easy for you by giving you a tested (and praised!!!) recipe, lots of helpful recipe notes, and a video so you can watch it come to life.

  1. Blind bake pie crust
  2. Prepare lemon meringue pie filling
  3. Whip meringue topping
  4. Spread meringue on top of filling
  5. Bake pie until toasty brown on top

Now that you have a general idea of the process, let’s learn why this lemon meringue pie recipe works and what mistakes to avoid.

Lemon meringue pie

Here’s Why This Recipe Works

There are 3 main roadblocks when making lemon meringue pie: a soggy pie crust, a watery lemon filling, and/or a weeping meringue. Let’s work through each.

  1. Let’s avoid a soggy pie crust: Start by properly blind baking the pie crust. You want to partially blind bake the crust because it will continue to bake when you bake the assembled lemon meringue pie. Watch me blind bake the crust I use for this lemon meringue pie in my separate blind baking blog post. Lots of tips and tricks there.
  2. Let’s avoid a watery lemon filling: This is where I always had the most trouble. Lemon meringue pie filling is basically a thinner version of lemon curd. You’ll temper egg yolks. And before you run away screaming, watch me do this in the video below. Promise it’s not scary. While lemon meringue pie filling should be blissfully creamy, we also want it to be stable enough to slice somewhat neatly. (Think: a slightly firmer version of pudding, but not as firm as jello.) There was a lot of back and forth with the water vs lemon juice vs cornstarch vs sugar amounts. Follow my lemon meringue pie filling below. It’s not too tart, not too sweet, and has the silkiest, yet not-too-watery texture.
  3. Let’s avoid a weeping meringue: There are many different types of meringue topping, but let’s use a French meringue. Beat egg whites into soft peaks, add sugar, then beat into stiff peaks. Unless you want to waste a bunch of egg whites in failed meringue attempts, read these tips: Make sure you begin with just egg whites. Not even a drip of egg yolks. Make sure the bowl you’re using is completely wiped clean. No oil or water residue. Make sure you add cream of tartar. This will stabilize your meringue. Make sure you add the sugar *after* soft peaks are formed. If added before that, the egg whites could stretch too much which prevents a stiff peak altogether. Make sure you spread the meringue topping so it touches the pie crust. This seals the lemon filling underneath and allows the crust to grip onto the meringue so the two do not separate. And, finally, don’t make lemon meringue pie on a humid day.

Lemon meringue pie, I love ya, but you can be very picky.

Lemon meringue pie meringue topping on

How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie Topping

The meringue toasts in the oven. A lot of recipes call for putting the whole pie under the broiler, but I prefer to bake it so that the egg whites have a chance to cook through. Also, see the end of step 6 in the recipe below. Make sure you spread the meringue topping on while the filling is still warm. The warm filling helps seal the two layers together, preventing separation.

  • Did you know? (1) Room temperature egg whites whip faster than cold egg whites. And (2) room temperature egg whites whip into a greater volume than cold egg whites. So make sure your egg whites are at room temperature before starting the meringue.
  • Time saving tip: You need 5 egg yolks for the lemon filling and 5 egg whites for the meringue topping. Separate the 5 eggs while they are cold. (Cold eggs separate easier! Remember NO egg yolks in the meringue, not even a smidge.) Leave the egg whites out on the counter. Blind bake the pie crust and prepare the lemon filling. By the time you’re ready to start the meringue, the egg whites will be room temperature.

Meringue can be tricky, but you’re a baker and you can absolutely handle this.

Lemon meringue pie recipe

Want to watch me make the lemon meringue pie filling, topping, and assemble the pie? Here you go!

Craving something smaller? Here is my lemon bars recipe.

Lemon meringue pie recipe

Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: one 9-inch pie
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This is the perfect lemon meringue pie! With a delicious homemade pie crust, tart and smooth lemon filling, and a fluffy toasted meringue topping, it’s impossible to resist.


  • Homemade Pie Crust*
  • 5 large egg yolks (use the whites in the meringue below)
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (320ml) water
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (38g) cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature


  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Pie crust: I like to make sure my pie dough is prepared before I begin making lemon meringue pie. I always make pie dough the night before because it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before rolling out and blind baking (next step).
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Partially blind bake your pie crust. (Follow blind baking instructions through step 9.) Tip: You can get started on the lemon meringue pie filling steps while your crust is blind baking. But making the filling is time sensitive because you will temper the egg yolks, so if multi-tasking isn’t your thing, just wait until your crust is done blind baking before beginning the filling.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (177°C).
  4. Watch the video above to see how I work through each of the following steps.
  5. Make the filling: Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup. Set aside. Whisk the water, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. The mixture will be thin and cloudy, then eventually begin thickening and bubbling after about 6 minutes. Once thickened, give it a whisk and reduce heat to low.
  6. Temper the egg yolks: Very slowly stream a few large spoonfuls of warm lemon mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Then, also in a very slow stream, whisk the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan. Turn heat back up to medium. Cook until the mixture is thick and big bubbles begin bursting at the surface. See my video above as an example. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the butter. Spread filling into the warm partially baked crust. Set aside as you prepare the meringue. (Don’t let the filling cool down too much as you want a warm filling when you top with the meringue in step 7. The warm filling helps seal the two layers together, preventing separation.)
  7. Make the meringue: With a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together on high speed until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and salt, then continue beating on high speed until glossy stiff peaks form, about 2 more minutes. Spread meringue on top of filling. (I like to make decorative peaks with the back of a large spoon. See video above.) Make sure you spread the meringue all the way to the edges so that it touches the crust. This helps prevent the meringue from weeping.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the meringue is browned on top. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack, and allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour before placing in the refrigerator to chill. Chill for 4 hours before slicing and serving.
  9. Cover any leftovers and store in the refrigerator. Lemon meringue pie tastes best on day 1 because it doesn’t keep very well. No matter how hard you try to prevent it, the meringue will wilt and separate over time. Best to enjoy right away.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: The pie dough can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also blind bake the crust ahead of time, see how to blind bake pie crust for details. Lemon meringue pie is not the best pie to freeze. The filling and meringue’s texture are never quite the same.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt-Head Glass Measuring Bowl | Glass Pie Dish | Pie Weights | Glass Mixing Bowls | ZesterSaucepan | Whisk | Cooling Rack
  3. Pie Crust: My homemade pie crust recipe makes 2 pie crusts. If you use my “dough strip” method explained in the blind baking tutorial, you will need 1 and 1/2 pie crusts. Or you can skip that little trick and just use 1 pie crust.
  4. Prepare Ahead of Time: Prep all of your ingredients before you begin, including grating the lemon zest and separating the eggs. Don’t multitask unless you’re confident! The filling is time sensitive and you want to make sure everything is ready when you need to add it. Prep all of the meringue ingredients as well. You want them on hand, especially the sugar and salt, the very moment you need them. Don’t walk away from the bowl of egg whites as they whip. Meringue can beat into stiff peaks quite quickly.
Learn how to make classic lemon meringue pie with a creamy and sweet lemon filling, delicious meringue, and homemade flaky pie crust! Recipe on


  1. Hi Sally! Would this recipe keep well overnight? I am making it for a friend’s birthday but the party isn’t until Saturday night and the only time I will have to make this is tomorrow during the day. Will it keep well or will the meringue fall?


    1. Lemon meringue pie tastes best on day 1. No matter how hard you try to prevent it, the meringue will wilt and separate over time. Best to enjoy right away!

  2. I’m thinking of making mini pies using a cupcake pan. How long would you bake them? I saw another recipe that suggested 10 minutes… does that sound ok? I’d prefer your method to theirs, but was wondering about shortening the bake time.

    1. I haven’t tested this recipe as mini pies so I’m unsure of the bake time needed- but that sounds so fun! Let me know if you try it!

      1. I did it! It was AMAZING!

        I used store bought pie crust (3 crusts for 12 mini pies).

        I cut the crust into circles and pressed into a regular size muffin/cupcake pan that had been greased and floured. Then I cut strips out of the leftover crust and doubled the thickness of the sides and crusts’ edges, pressing the two layers together firmly.

        I filled muffin liners with rice and put inside the crusts and pressed down firmly. Then I baked at 400 for 12 minutes.

        Then I removed the rice/liners and poked fork holes in the bottom of the crusts and put back in the oven without the weight of the rice for 12 more minutes. I had my husband watch carefully to make sure they didn’t puff up. I wanted to cook them until they were 90% done but not brown and 12 minutes was the right amount.

        I made your lemon curd and meringue and filled the pies as recommended. The amount was good for 12 mini pies. I had a little left over and made an extra as a test case.

        I baked the pies at 350 for 25 minutes and they were PERFECT! Adorable and so delicious 🙂 I put them on the lowest rack of the oven so the meringue wouldn’t over-brown before the crust finished and it worked out great 🙂

        I finished baking about 12 am the night before a dinner party and stuck the whole pan in the fridge after it had cooled a bit. The pies were excellent the next day. The meringue was not sky high as before, but the taste was perfect 🙂 The filling set up beautifully. Thank you so much… I will be making these frequently!

  3. My husband is a huge fan of lemon meringue pie so I knew I needed an amazing recipe to impress him. This was perfect! He said it might have been the best lemon meringue pie he ever had. Thank you for the recipe and all the helpful hints! I will definitely be repeating this recipe!

  4. I live where the humidity is 85% year round. (Ecuador pacific Coast) Can I make any adjustments to make this recipe work?

  5. This is the most delicious and prettiest lemon meringue pie I have ever made! I will definitely make it again

  6. I absolutely love your turquoise mixer and glass bowl! And of course…this pie looks fabulous. I’ve only ever made lemon meringue as mini bite sized and never a full pie, but…I think it might be time, especially because my lemon tree out back needs a picking!

  7. Hi! I have a convection oven, was wondering if I could skip the blind baking step and bake it alltoghether in a single step? How much time would you suggest to bake?

  8. I hate follow recipes and I’m an impatient cook. But Sally this recipe was amazing. I’m so grateful for the trouble you went to detailing every tiny step and why I should be bothered to do it the way you say. It truly paid off and completely sold me on following your blog.

  9. Sorry for the misspellings in the above comment, Siri messed with me and I didn’t doublecheck it. It is of course I used, not are used. And it is not wipe but weep.

  10. Have a quick question, , I make Lemon Meringue pies quite often, but have never added butter to the filling.
    What does it do for the filling?

  11. Sally,
    I love you so much for this recipe (as well as the included pie crust/blind baking recipes and tips). My husband absolutely adores lemon meringue pie and he’s been begging me to make it for his bday for years; but it’s always been such an intimidating pie to make. But this year I decided to face my fears and attempt it. I knew exactly where to go for help since I’ve been following you for years now. As always, you broke down this recipe so perfectly and the video was super helpful as well (I may have watched it three…hundred times hahaha).
    Anyway, my pie came out beautiful and delicious and I’m so proud of myself for trying it. But I couldn’t have done it without you!!! I so appreciate you!

    1. Hey Brittany! What a comment, thank you! This is so wonderful to read and you should be so proud! This is definitely a more advanced recipe and it requires a few different steps. So glad you made it and enjoyed it too!

  12. Absolutely delicious!!!!! I made the crust using 250gms butter to 2 1/2cups flour, salt and water, soooooo good. Best lemon meringue pie i have made, really worth making.

    1. How can I watch the video? There isn’t a clickable link? Or maybe it’s just my phone? I’ve also looked on desktop version and still don’t see it. This isn’t the only recipe of yours that I’ve had this issue with.

      1. Hi Paige! If you temporarily disable any Ad Blockers, the video shows right up. It’s also on my YouTube and Facebook page!

  13. As usual, Sally’s recipe is tip-top! Her all butter pastry will now be my go to pastry- it is light and flaky and does not over cook during the blind baking process, especially with her special double edge technique.
    The lemon filling and meringue are delicious too and all combine to make the perfect lemon meringue pie.
    Thank you Sally x

  14. took a while to whisk by hand since the electric one broke but it was total worth it love the golden brown meringue and i look forward in baking a few more things with sally’s recipes thank you sally for your wonderful website

    1. Oh no – I’m sorry that your mixer broke! I’m so glad you were able to still make it work and that you enjoyed it!

  15. we grew up in Arizona and went out to the backyard and picked a lemon off our tree. I never knee what zesting was until I moved away. does make a difference! my grandmothers lemon meringue always had little drops of what looked like honey on it, I have never seen it since do you have any idea what it was? and now for the important stuff. I have never made a really good pie until today. it was wonderful!! thank you so much for getting me over the hump. now do not be disappointed but I use a graham cracker crust. I enjoy the texture.

    1. I’m thrilled that you found pie success with this recipe – and I enjoy it with a graham cracker crust on occasion also! The little amber color drops on the top of a meringue can be caused by condensation.

    1. Lemon meringue pie tastes best on day 1. No matter how hard you try to prevent it, the meringue will wilt and separate over time. Best to enjoy right away!

  16. Made your recipe tonight. The Lemon Curd was easy to make and came out very thick and creamy. I have never been a great Lemon Meringue baker as I have always compared mine to the memory of my Mom’s, but this one is about as close as I think I could get to hers. Also, the tip on using room temperature egg whites really made a difference. I will definitely be doing that in the future. Thanks!

  17. I saw in other comments that you recommend serving the pie on day 1. I have been asked to make a lemon meringue pie for a birthday lunch on saturday, but I have to make the pie friday morning, so I dont have a choice, the pie cant be served on day 1 🙁
    Im worried to make it- how bad will the delay make the pie? how long does it take for the meringues to separate? A little wilting in ok if unavoidable, but I dont want to serve a separated pie….

    1. Is it possible for you to prepare and blind bake the pie crust on Friday and have the rest of the ingredients prepped to finish it on Saturday? If so see recipe note #4 for those exact instructions! If you absolutely must make the whole pie on Friday then you can certainly try it!

  18. How do you make lemon zest? And if it’s grated peel, how does it not give the pie filling a gritty feeling? Any advice? Thanks! This looks like an amazing recipe I want to try!

  19. This is a great recipe. It has one extra egg and more lemon juice than my go-to recipe and I like this one better. Do you notice a difference between pies baked in glass/ceramic plates and those in metal? Mine baked in glass seem to get a nicer crust…

    1. I’m so glad you gave this a try and enjoyed it, Gina! I prefer using a glass pie dish when I make pie. Glass dishes conduct heat evenly, which allows the bottom of the crust to bake thoroughly. Also, you’ll be able to see when the sides and bottom of the crust has browned!

  20. Hi sally! Have you ever double the recipe? I need to make two lemon meringue pies and would love to cut down on the whole process by doubling. Any insights?

    1. Hi Jenna, My homemade pie crust recipe makes 2 pie crusts so that should help. But this is a rather finicky recipe and I recommend making the rest of each pie one pie at a time.

  21. Hi Sally,
    My meringue didn’t bake as expected! It came out all brown and started collapsing a bit when cooling. What did I do wrong?
    Thanks in advance. 🙂

    1. Hi Kasia– it sounds like the meringue burned on top and didn’t bake evenly in the center. I recommend lowering the oven rack and oven temperature next time.

  22. This will forever be my go-to Sally. The only change I made was backing off by 1/3 on sugar for the filling; the play between the sweet meringue and more tart filling adding a complexity that satisfies our clan. Thank you for this beautifully presented, easily understood and thoroughly explained (the pastry pre-bake so useful for newbies) recipe.

  23. I am 12 yrs old and always ready to bake a challenge. I’ve made this recipe twice and both times worked well. Fantastic dessert

  24. The crust is a star and not too hard, the meringue turned out lovely. My 9 yo and I worked through this recipe together and the whole family enjoyed. Thanks!!

  25. The best lemon meringue pie, ever. Followed the instructions, was not that hard. Great recipe and tips. Thank you.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally