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 on a silver plate

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

overhead image of lemon meringue pie

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.

lemon meringue pie in a glass pie dish

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 in a glass pie dish

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. (These tips apply for my chocolate swirled meringue cookies, too.) 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.

meringue topping for lemon meringue pie in a glass stand mixer bowl

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 slice on a silver plate

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.

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Lemon meringue pie slice on a silver plate

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 375°F (190°C) and adjust your oven rack to the lowest position. Partially blind bake your pie crust in a 9-inch pie dish. (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 medium speed for 1 minute, then increase to high speed until soft peaks form, about 4 more 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 pie on the lowest oven rack for 20-25 minutes. (If the meringue is browning too quickly, tent a piece of foil over it as best you can without the foil touching the meringue.) When pie is done, 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. There are not enough fabulous adjectives to adequately describe this lemon pie, so I won’t even try! I’ll never use another recipe. I’m thrilled that Sally has a baking addiction!

    1. Charlene Letendre says:

      I had tried making meringue so many times, never got a good one! This recipe was incredible! The meringue was perfect!

      1. Maybe you never got the meringue right because the eggs were not room temp or you used liquid egg whites. I also recommend cream of tartar for every batch of meringue you make no matter what the recipe says.

  2. Thank you Sally,
    I made your lemon meringue pie followed your instructions, it came out perfect, crust was light, I was amazed so is my wife DELICIOUS !! THANK YOU again ,
    Sam from Delaware

  3. Hello Sally. I love all your recipes and would love to give this lemon meringue pie a try. Just want your opinion. Could I use a graham cracker crust instead of the traditional pie crust?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jackie, you can definitely use a graham cracker crust instead. Let us know how you like it!

  4. i loved making this pie , it was sooo gooddddd!!!!!!!
    thank u for posting this recipe.

  5. First time baking a lemon meringue pie, and your recipe turned out beautiful as usual! It was delicious…but the next day when i removed if from the refrigerator, the meringue was deflated, I’m trying to figure out what happed? The filling and crust were still great.

    1. Michael Gommerman says:

      #9 from the instructions: 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.

      So, probably that?

    2. You are my absolute favorite person when it comes to recipes!! Whenever I’m searching for something if I see a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction I know it will be amazing! I’ve used so many of yours and have never been disappointed. Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes!!

      1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Thank you so much for your kind words, Aimee – we’re thrilled you’re enjoying our recipes 🙂

  6. If I wanted to make this without the meringue could I put the lemon filling in a fully baked pie crust and let it set in the fridge or does the filling need time in the oven as well after cooking on the stove top?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi David, You can skip the meringue and make this a plain lemon pie. The filling won’t be very thick. We would extend the bake time to about 35-40 minutes or until the filling appears set. Or, you might enjoy our Creamy Lemon Pie instead!

  7. This was the BEST pie I ever made! It was a huge hit. Everything about it was terrific. Thank you for this recipe!

  8. Arline Beagan says:

    This is a wonderful recipe! Thank you, it turned out perfect!

  9. I love this fool proof recipe! Turned out perfectly. I didn’t have enough white flour for a regular crust so I made a nilla wafer crust. Loved it

  10. Christy M. Bridges says:

    1st Attempt at Lemon Meringue Pie in almost 12 years!This Recipe Turned our Superb! It has all the tips nessaasary to have “No Fear” I can finally have confidence in my pie Game! Thank You so much for sharing.
    My Husband Was really missing it. Now hes 1 Happy Hubby!

  11. Hi Sally! Going to give your Lemon Meringue Pie recipe a try. Excited because of all of the rave reviews! I am just wondering though, what kind of lemon do you use in your recipes? Meyer? Lisbon? Eureka? Will it make a difference in your recipes?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cynthia! We usually use Lisbon or Eureka, which are the most common variety found in grocery stores. Meyer lemons would also work for a slightly sweeter pie.

      1. OMGosh!! THANK YOU for replying so quickly!! Volunteering at a fundraiser this weekend and would like to bake some goodies for other volunteers. I am definitely going to try your Apple Hand Pies and if I have time to make it to the market, I am going to attempt your Lemon Meringue Pie as well!! Wish me luck!! ( hahah! Just kidding. I am sure everything will be greatly appreciated by all!! )

  12. Hey sally! planning on making this recipe, do you think that lemon concentrate would work like the fresh stuff?

    1. From a Reader
      It is never as good IMHO.
      There is a bright, fresh taste you an only get from fresh lemon.

  13. Any suggestions on how to make this into smaller tartlets? I am making these for a Christmas party and I would prefer serving small tarts vs. slices. Thanks!!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Aileen, you can use this recipe for mini pies/tartlets but we’re unsure of the exact bake time. You may need to make a few batches, depending on how many mini pies you’d like to make. Let us know if you give it a try!

  14. Planning on making this for thanksgiving how far in advance can I make this? Thank you!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      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. See recipe notes for some make ahead options. Enjoy!

  15. Could I use can lemon pie filling and put meringue on my tarts

  16. Any idea on using granulated Splenda in the filling?

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi BT, We’d love to help but we are not trained in baking with sugar substitutes. For best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste your time trying to adapt this recipe since it may not work properly), it may be more useful to find a recipe that is specifically formulated for sugar substitutes. Thank you!

  17. Hey Sally, my pie looks great but it’s waterlogged. I’m trying to figure out what I did wrong as I followed the steps.

  18. Make ahead notes only refer to the crust. I am travelling a fair distance and want to make the filling ahead and then make the meringue at my destination and bake off. Will that work? Should I gently reheat the filling so the meringue will seal?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cathy, The filling must be warm when you pour it into the warm crust so if you make it ahead of time, warm and stir it on the stove for a couple minutes before using. However, for the best results we do recommend making the meringue fresh right before you assemble and finish baking the pie.

  19. I am blown away. Never have I had such an excellent lemon meringue pie. Deserves 6 stars
    Thank you Thank you!

  20. Delicious! Makes a CRAZY amount of meringue though. I ended up just baking some of it on the side. I think I’ll drop it to 3 or 4 egg whites next time.

  21. Oops missed the rating option on my previous comment. Definitely a 5-star recipe, and I’m stingy with those!

  22. Can I double filling and meringue recipe?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dedee, lemon meringue can be rather finicky, so we recommend making two separate batches for best results.

  23. Hi, if I use a home bought pie crust do I still have to blind bake it? And is there any benefit in using a flame to brown the top of the pie? Would the pie still need to go into the oven? Thanks in advance!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Courtney, if using store bought pie crust, thaw and then blind bake as directed in the recipe. You can use a torch. The filling itself doesn’t need to be baked. The egg yolks are cooked on the stove. Hope you enjoy it!

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