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 Meringue 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. You have been teasing us with this recipe! I’ve been craving lemon meringue pie, which is weird because unfortunately I don’t think I’ve ever had really good lemon meringue. Your’s looks so delicious though I can’t wait to try it out!! 

      1. Best pie ever!! I made it for my mom’s birthday and she loved it, which isn’t a surprise because all your recipes are foolproof! Thank you for making my day brighter with your amazing recipes, posts, and pictures!

  2. I would like to know , at what temperature do you set for the meringue in the classic lemon meringue pie. It says to bake 20 to 25 til browns but no temperature

  3. I love lemon meringue pie, it’s always been my favorite one since I can remember. My mon prepared it and learned just from watching her. Every year on my birthday I prepared it for myself. This year I’m going to try your recipe which is almost lime my mom’s recipe. Thanks for sharing it. 

  4. Hello! I watched your video and when you whip the meringue, you add all the sugar at one time. Now I have been told to never ever do that, but your meringue came out so smooth! What’s your opinion?

    1. You can do it either way– adding all at once or adding slowly. Truthfully, I’ve NEVER noticed a difference in taste or texture.

  5. I made this today! And it turned out absolutely perfectly! It is in the chill phase right now, so I haven’t actually tasted it. However, it looks and smells significantly better than even my favorite diner lemon pie. Thank you for all the extra tips and tricks and videos! 

  6. Hi Sally,
    So excited to try this, it’s one of my favourite desserts! I was wondering, does the filling itself need to be baked for stability reasons or anything? I was planning on making this in cupcake form and was just going to use my blowtorch on the meringue, but i wasn’t sure if the filling will suffer by not being baked?
    Thanks for always providing such incredible recipes! Every single one has always been a hit!

    1. Hey Stephanie! This is a great question. The filing itself doesn’t need to be baked. The egg yolks are cooked on the stove.

    2. I know this is far too late to help you, but this could help someone else. The main reason to bake this is actually for the meringue. Those egg whites haven’t been cooke at all before being made into meringue, unlike with Swiss or Italian meringue. French meringue always needs to be cooked at least a little.

  7. I made this pie for the very first time last weekend for a family reunion. It was so good! I got lots of compliments on it. People really liked that it wasn’t too sweet. It was a fun pie to make! Also your pie dough really made this great.
    The only thing I did a bit different was straining the lemon filling before adding it to the pie. I had a couple lumps so I’m glad I did this.
    Thank you for this recipe Sally 🙂

  8. Sally, I’m baking this today and if it works out, I’m going to kiss you!  It just might be my ticket to early retirement!!!  My hubs LOVES lemon pie and his Mom, who passed away almost 10 years ago was a pro.  If I’m successful today, it might be just the ticket to prove I’d be an awesome SAHM!!!  

  9. Ok mine turned out looking amazing! But after chilling, it developed moisture beads and the meringue pulled apart in some spots. Did I overbake? Or underwhip the meringue? Haven’t tasted it yet…

  10. Hi Sally! Florencia from Buenos Aires, Argentina – Now LA 😉

    Thank you for sharing your incredible recipes with us! You are my to go blog to get recipes and they are always a success! This lemon meringue pie was delicious. I tried it and loved the creamy but yet sturdy consistence of the filling and it wasn’t tangy at all.

    However, I had problems with the meringue. It came down a little after being in the oven, and then after being cut and kept in the refrigerator you could see little bubbles when I served, as if it was disintegrating, maybe I didn’t mixed enough? The most strange thing was that it was salty! Can that happen? I just put the amount of salt in the recipe. It didn’t affected the taste of the pie when eaten all the layers together, but something didn’t go right there. Any suggestions?

    Thank you very much!


    1. Hi Florencia! What type of salt did you use? I recommend just using table salt. A pinch, or 1/8 teaspoon. The meringue is bound to wilt with time, especially after being cut and stored in the fridge. If you try it next time, try beating the egg whites longer. (And maybe leave out the salt!)

  11. I’m wondering, whether the meringue is possible without the cornstarch? Is there anything you can replace it with?
    Every recipe of yours that I baked was delicious! I hope to bake this one soon.

  12. This is the BEST pie EVER. I have never made lemon meringue pie before, and am a total novice in making pie in the first place. I decided to attempt making it for a group of huge critics whose expectations were extremely high, and I’m happy to say I was successful! Followed the instructions step by step. Thank you so much Sally for sharing this, I’ll definitely be making it again in the future 🙂

  13. I finally made this for Easter! I had some meringue weeping issues, but the flavor was right and the curd was spectacular! Thank you for the recipe!

  14. I made this for Easter and it was a HUGE HIT AND SO DELICIOUS! Thank you for another great recipe with great pictures, steps, and video!

  15. Hi Sally, I can’t wait to try this recipe !

    Two questions though :
    – We don’t have cream of tartar in Belgium, can I use vinegar instead ?
    – How many lemons (approx) did you need to yield 1/2 cup of lemon juice ?

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Fanny! You can try using 1 teaspoon of vinegar in the meringue instead. You’ll need about 2-3 lemons. Let me know how it turns out!

  16. Hello Sally,

    Thank you so much for all of your awesome recipes! This is the first pie I have ever baked so I am so excited to see the end result! So far it looks beautiful!! The only thing is that you say to bake it for 25-30 min, but my meringue was completely browned after 10 minutes in my 350F oven. Do you think it will be okay? Thank you again!!

    1. Hi Brenda! Your meringue browned very quickly! If you decide to try the pie again, I would lower the oven rack as well as the oven temperature down 25 degrees F. How did the pie taste?

  17. Just made this now and its cooling. The pie crust turned out perfectly and is delicious! My meringue was brown after about 15 minutes, so I took it out early. Does the inside have to reach a certain temperature or harden up?

    1. Hi Matthew, the inside of the meringue shouldn’t harden up. 15 minutes is pretty quick. How did it taste? If you decide to try it again, lower the oven temperature so you can cook it for longer.

  18. Just made the recipe and I can’t wait to try it! My meringue was browning at 7 minutes so I dropped it to the lower rack. Didn’t think to lower the temperature. I turned the oven off at 15 minutes and I’m leaving it in for a few extra minutes as the oven cools. It looks beautiful!

  19. OMG! My 91 year old grandmother has been requesting a “good” homemade lemon meringue pie that reminded her of her youth all year. She asked me to make her one for Thanksgiving. I am NOT a pie baker but I found this recipe, along with the tutorial videos and decided to give it a try. THANK YOU. It was a hit! She loved it! I followed it exactly to your direction Thanksgiving morning. It was fun to watch the meringue turn “silky” and the pie smelled amazing baking. I will NEVER EVER buy a frozen pie again. Needless to say, I’ve been asked to add this to the dessert line up for Christmas. Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I’m going to check out some of your other recipes. God Bless!

  20. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Sally! I was kind of nervous to attempt this notoriously tricky pie, but your instructions were so easy to follow, it helped me to be more confident. The pie turned out looking great, and my friend really enjoyed eating it!

  21. Sally,thank you so much for this recipe! I had a craving for baking Lemon Meringue Pie after hearing it repeatedly mentioned in Little house on the Prarie. Your recipe worked like a charm and my first lemon meringue pie (handwhisked meringue 🙂 was a success! It was absolutely delicious and my family just loved it.
    Thank you again and my best wishes to you!

    1. Hi Peggy! I use regular lemons in this lemon meringue pie, but you could substitute with Meyer lemons with no other changes to the recipe.

  22. I’ve always been a fan of Lemon Meringue Pie and have fond memories of making it with my Mum, but from a packet mix! Today I made your recipie for our Mothers Day lunch with my new stand mixer and it was a massive hit. Thanks for taking the time to give us these great recipes.

  23. Ha. That’s funny: “Don’t make this pie on a humid day.” It’s always humid in Houston, TX. So we get weepy pies forever! My daughter loves this pie, so I’m going to make it for her.

  24. Just made this for Easter. It was lovely. I made your homemade crust recipe as well. This is the best pie I have ever made!

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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