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Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie

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Prep Time: 30 mins    Cook Time: 1 hr 25 mins

5 from 3 votes

My Grandma’s lemon meringue pie is a lemon lover’s dream. It has a perfectly creamy, tangy, and lemony filling topped with a light and fluffy meringue. Only 30 minutes of prep time is required to make this showstopping dessert.

Grandma's lemon meringue pie on a table.
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Some of my other favorite light and fluffy desserts include this lemon crunch cake and my delicious raspberry cheesecake cookies!

Main Ingredients

My Grandma's lemon meringue pie is a lot easier to make than it seems and requires only 10 ingredients! Below are some of the key ingredients.

  • Frozen pie crust: Save on prep time by using a pre-made crust.
  • Lemons: Use the juice and zest for the ultimate lemony flavor.
  • Egg yolks: For a creamy lemon filling.
  • Egg whites: For a fluffy meringue.
  • Cornstarch: Thickens the filling.
  • White sugar: Ensures a perfectly sweet custardy filling and helps to stabilize the meringue.

Instructions Overview

To make my Grandma's lemon meringue pie, the steps are really simple. You start by unrolling a frozen pre-made crust and pressing it into a pie pan. Top it with pie weights, beans, or rice and bake for 60 to 75 minutes in a 350°F oven.

To make the filling, whisk sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add water, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Bring it to a boil. Whisk in some butter.

Gradually add some of the hot sugar mixture to a bowl with egg yolks to temper the yolks. Then add the egg yolk mixture to the remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and cook until thick.

Transfer the filling to a baked pastry shell.

To make meringue, whip the egg whites until they are foamy. Add sugar slowly and whip until stiff peaks are formed. Spread the meringue over the pie sealing the edges. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

A slice of grandma's lemon meringue pie on a plate with a fork.

Common Questions

Why is my lemon pie so watery?

Although some pies call for the warm filling to be poured into the crust while that is also still warm, that isn’t true for my Grandma’s lemon meringue pie. The crust should be fully cooked and cooled to room temperature before spooning in the filling. If the crust is too warm, the filling can separate and become watery and the crust can also be soggy, so ensure you let it cool down first!

Do you eat lemon meringue pie hot or cold?

The choice is yours. It is good served either way. I tend to enjoy it warm during the winter months and enjoy it chilled during the summer, but you can decide how to serve yours.

Can you torch meringue?

Baking it in the oven helps crisp the top, but if it needs more browning, you might like to use a kitchen blowtorch to finish it off. Broiling it briefly is another option, but if you choose to do this, be very careful! The meringue layer can turn from white to burnt in the blink of an eye!

Torching it is safer since you can see exactly when it’s crisped enough. Don’t use a regular lighter since that gives the meringue a weird smell and doesn’t crisp the meringue sufficiently.

How do you store lemon meringue pie?

It should be stored in the refrigerator, loosely covered with plastic wrap. Enjoy within 2 days of baking.

Can this pie be frozen?

This recipe is not freezer-friendly. The eggs in both the filling and meringue won’t hold up. Both the flavor and the texture will be affected. When you make my Grandma's lemon meringue pie, plan to serve it on the same day or the day after!

Can you make it ahead of time?

Like anything else, it's best when fresh. You could make it a day ahead, but there is some risk of weeping. The natural moisture in the filling and meringue can release moisture into the pie crust. See the tip below on preventing sogging. You’ll also need to ensure you have enough guests to enjoy the entire pie the next day because it only keeps for 2 days. To save time when making this recipe, use a pre-made frozen pie crust and serve it fresh for optimal results!

How do you prevent it from getting soggy?

The best way is to enjoy it the day you prepare it. The more time it spends in the refrigerator, the more likely it is that the meringue and filling will start to “weep.” If you’re planning to make it one day ahead of time, place it in the freezer with just the filling. Make your meringue shortly before serving. Top your pie and bake for 10 minutes. Chill in the fridge for a little bit, then enjoy.

What do I serve with this dessert?

It's best served with garnishes of candied lemons, fresh berries, or mint.

A slice of lemon meringue pie being served with a cake server.

Chopnotch Tips

  • You want to blind bake (or pre-bake) your crust before you add the filling so that it's perfectly cooked and flaky. If you do not have ceramic pie weights, you can use dried beans or rice to hold the crust down in the oven.
  • Do not skip the step of tempering the egg yolks. If you introduce the eggs to the hot sugar mixture too quickly, they’ll scramble!
  • When you make your meringue, make sure there are no traces of egg yolk in your egg whites, or else you won’t get stiff peaks.
  • Whip your meringue to stiff peaks so it holds its shape. If you under-whip, it’ll be liquid when you slice into it.
  • Be careful not to overwhip your meringue as it’ll be too firm and might collapse when you bake it. Luckily, it takes a lot of whipping for this to happen so it’s unlikely to be a problem!
A lemon meringue pie on a table with a slice cut out of it.

There’s nothing like a slice of Grandma’s lemon meringue pie to celebrate the spring season!

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.

Recipe

How to Make

Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie

This pie has a perfectly creamy and tangy filling. It’s topped with a light and fluffy meringue. It’s a lemon lover’s dream for the perfect spring dessert.
SCALE THIS RECIPE
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 25 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 55 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch pie crust, frozen
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
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Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a pie pan. Unroll the pie crust and press down into the pie pan. Press against the sides and the bottom. Top the crust with something heavy (beans, rice, ceramic weights) and bake for 12 - 15 minutes until the edges of the crust just begin to turn golden.
  • To make the lemon filling, to a medium saucepan add 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt, and whisk. Add water, lemon juice, and zest and bring the mixture to a boil. Add butter.
  • To a small bowl add egg yolks and gradually add ½ cup of hot sugar mixture.
  • Add egg yolk mixture to the remaining sugar mixture, bring to a boil and continue cooking until thick. Transfer the filling to a baked pastry shell.
  • To make the meringue, to a large glass or metal bowl add egg whites and whip until foamy.
  • Slowly add sugar, and continue whipping until stiff peaks are formed.
  • Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
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Notes

  • You want to blind bake (or pre-bake) your pie before you add the filling so that your pie crust is perfectly cooked and flaky. If you do not have ceramic pie weights, you can use dried beans or rice to hold the pie crust down in the oven.
  • Do not skip the step of tempering the egg yolks. If you introduce the eggs to the hot sugar mixture too quickly, they’ll scramble!
  • When you make your meringue, make sure there are no traces of egg yolk in your egg whites or else you won’t get stiff peaks.
  • Whip your meringue to stiff peaks so it holds its shape. If you under-whip, it’ll be liquid when you slice your pie.
  • Be careful not to overwhip your meringue as it’ll be too firm and might collapse when you bake it. Luckily, it takes a lot of whipping for this to happen so it’s unlikely to be a problem!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 360kcal (18%), Carbohydrates: 60g (20%), Protein: 5g (10%), Fat: 12g (18%), Saturated Fat: 5g (31%), Cholesterol: 105mg (35%), Sodium: 233mg (10%), Potassium: 96mg (3%), Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 41g (46%), Vitamin A: 217IU (4%), Vitamin C: 14mg (17%), Calcium: 25mg (3%), Iron: 1mg (6%)
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course:
Dessert
cuisine:
European
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