Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + standing Bake: 25 min. + chilling


8 servings

Updated: Jun. 10, 2023
This is the one and only lemon meringue pie recipe you'll ever need. The flaky and tender from-scratch crust is worth the effort. —Lee Bremson, Kansas City, Missouri


  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a small bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Gradually add 3 tablespoons cold water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
  2. Roll out dough to fit a 9-in. pie plate. Transfer crust to pie plate. Trim to 1/2 in. beyond rim of plate; flute edge. Bake at 425° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt. Gradually stir in water until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
  4. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in butter and lemon zest. Gradually stir in lemon juice just until combined. Pour into the crust.
  5. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. For meringue, in a saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in cold water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is clear. Transfer to a bowl; cool.
  6. Beat egg whites and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat in cornstarch mixture on high until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved (meringue will not be smooth). Spread evenly over hot filling, sealing edge to crust.
  7. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.
Lemon Meringue Pie Tips

How do you keep lemon meringue pie from getting watery?

To prevent that dreaded watery filling, make sure that you cook the filling long enough. Keep an eye on the clock and be sure to heat the filling for the full time the recipe indicates. Another way to prevent weepy filling is to seal the pie properly. That means spreading the meringue to the very edge of the pie crust, making sure no filling is exposed. Finally, lemon meringue pies and humidity are not friends. If you're serving this pie on a humid day, keep it covered and refrigerated until it's time to serve.

Can you make lemon meringue pie ahead of time?

Lemon meringue pie is one of those desserts that's best eaten the day it's baked. However, these pies can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days before serving. If you're looking to save time and have the best pie, you can make the pie crust in advance. A classic butter pie pastry can be prepped, wrapped tightly and refrigerated for a few days. It can also be stashed in the freezer for a month.

How do you store lemon meringue pie?

If you're planning on eating your pie the same day, pop the finished pie into the fridge, making sure no jars or containers will topple on that mile-high meringue. The pie will be just fine uncovered for a few hours. If you made the pie in advance and plan on storing it for several hours or longer, it's best to cover it up. You can cover the pie with a cake dome, or seal it in a cake cover if you have the fridge space. Otherwise, place a few skewers into the pie and make a tent with plastic wrap. If you loved this recipe, make sure to try more of our meringue pie recipes.

Lisa Kaminski, Taste of Home Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 444 calories, 17g fat (5g saturated fat), 87mg cholesterol, 282mg sodium, 68g carbohydrate (43g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.