World’s Best Lemon Pie

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min. + cooling

Makes

8 servings

Updated: Feb. 12, 2024
Mother's pies were always so memorable, with tender, flaky crusts. In summer the order of the day was lemon meringue! —Phyllis Kirsling, Junction City, Wisconsin

Ingredients

  • Dough for single-crust pie
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • MERINGUE:
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Directions

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim to 1/2 in. beyond rim of plate; flute edge. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Line crust with a double thickness of foil. Fill with pie weights, dried beans or uncooked rice. Bake on a lower oven rack until edge is golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and weights; bake until bottom is golden brown, 3-6 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven setting to 350°.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt. Gradually stir in water. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
  4. Gradually stir 1 cup hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, lemon juice and zest until smooth. Pour into pie crust.
  5. In a bowl, beat egg whites and salt until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over pie, sealing edge to crust. Bake at 350° until meringue is golden, 12-15 minutes. Cool. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

World’s Best Lemon Pie Tips

How do you keep lemon meringue pie from getting soggy?

Refrigeration can make this pie get soggy more quickly. Let it stand at room temperature before serving. Also, make sure your lemon filling is still hot when you spread the meringue on top. This will help prevent it from "weeping" into the rest of your pie. Learn more about perfecting pie crusts.

Does lemon pie need to be refrigerated?

Lemon pie can be set at room temperature for a couple of hours, but it should go into the fridge after that.

Can I make this lemon pie recipe ahead of time?

Lemon meringue pie is definitely best served fresh, but you can keep your pie in the refrigerator for up to three days, loosely covered with aluminum foil. You want to avoid smashing those beautiful stiff peaks! Here's more on how to master meringue.

Research contributed by Elizabeth Harris
Dough for single-crust pie (9 in.)
Combine 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 tsp. salt; cut in 1/2 cup cold butter until crumbly. Gradually add 3-5 Tbsp. ice water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Shape into a disk; wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 385 calories, 15g fat (9g saturated fat), 103mg cholesterol, 338mg sodium, 59g carbohydrate (38g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.