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Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe – Traditional Natural Recipe

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All-natural lemon meringue pie is one of those much loved classic recipes. The lemon filling in this pie recipe is made with fresh lemons. The pie has a beautiful yellow filling and doesn’t have the tartrazine dye you will find in chemical mixes.  If you’ve been making a lemon pie from a mix TRY THIS recipe instead.  This is absolutely the best lemon meringue pie recipe ever.  

A large lemon meringue pie with thick meringe in a white porcelain glass plate. The pie is sitting on a bright blue tablelcloth and there are real lemons in the background.

Note: A single layer pie is a perfect pie for new pie makers.  There is only one crust on the bottom and if it’s not as flaky as Gramas no one cares because it will hold the lemon filling well, and on most pies the bottom crust can be a little tougher.

Lemon Meringue Pie Ingredients

Pie Crust

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cups lard

6 to 8 tbsp very cold water.

Lemon Pie Filling

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3 tbsp corn starch

3 tbsp flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups water

5 egg yolks (keep the whites)

1/3 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)

1 tbsp grated lemon zest

1 tbsp butter

Meringue

5 large egg whites

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 tsp vanilla

Pie Crust Instructions

This small pie crust recipe makes enough for a large lemon meringue pie. If you want to make more than one pie I will link my larger traditional pie crust recipe at the end of the post.

In a large bowl, place 2 cups flour, add 1/2 tsp salt and mix together. Blend in 2/3 c lard, until the flour is crumbly and the lard is about the size of peas.

Add 6 tbsp of water, form the pie into dough. Add more water if needed.

Place a little flour on the counter and roll out your pie dough. Transfer to pie plate, pick with a fork and flute the edge.

Whenever baking a single crust I like to fill it with pie weights to prevent shrinking. If you don’t have pie weights, you can use dry beans.

Bake your pie shell at 400 F for about 15 minutes, until edge is golden.

Lemon Pie Filling Instructions

Prep the lemons first. In order to get the pretty yellow colour you don’t need food colouring, the soft yellow tones of the fresh lemon and egg yolks make such a pretty pie.  You don’t need a fancy zester either. Wash, dry and then grate the lemon rind using the fine side of an everyday grater. Squeeze the lemons and set the juice aside.

A grater showing the fine teeth for grating lemon rink. fresh lemon zest and lemon juice in a glass.

In a medium size saucepan place 1 1/2 c sugar, 3 tbsp cornstarch, 3 tbsp flour, 1/4 tsp salt and mix to incorporate. Add the 1 1/3 c water, and 1/2 cup lemon juice. Whisk to dissolve, it should be smooth without any lumps. Cook over low heat stirring often until thick about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.

Separate the 5 eggs. Crack the egg yolks into a small bowl. Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl for the meringue, set aside. Mix the egg yolks together.

Note: If you add the eggs directly to the hot lemon mixture the eggs cook too fast causing curdling with bits of cooked egg whites.

To bring the egg temperature up, slowly add a few tablespoons of the hot mixture to the egg yolks. Whisk well, then slowly drizzle the egg yolk mixture back into your saucepan. Give it a whisk and return to the low heat.

A saucepan with a whisk blending the ingredients for lemon pie filling.

Continue cooking until your filling thickens and has large bubbles popping at the surface.

Remove from the heat add the 1 tbsp butter and lemon rind. Stir well and pour into your baked pie crust.

Lemon meringue pie with lemon pie filling waiting for meringue

Meringue Topping

This recipe calls for five eggs because the extra two yolks make the pie filling thicker and easier to serve, and more importantly makes for a huge wonderful meringue.   Meringue is not heavy like whipping cream, and the thicker meringue makes the overall pie lighter tasting, well worth the extra two eggs.

Place 5 eggs whites in a large mixing bowl, add the cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add in sugar whipping continuously until sugar is all dissolved.

While your homemade lemon pie filling is still warm cover your pie with large dollops of the meringue until its fully covered. With a knife gently spread the meringue to ensure its over the edge of the pastry, and no big gaps are showing.

Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes or until golden. Watch the meringue closely to make sure it doesn’t burn. It can go from golden brown to scorched brown in a minute.

Let your pie cool for at least two hours in the fridge before serving.

Keeping Lemon Pie

Lemon pie does not keep really well, the crust can get soggy, and the meringue flattens, if you make this pie try and eat is right away when its fresh.

Classic lemon meringue pie

Large Traditional Pie Crust Recipe

This Flapper Pie recipe is a very old traditional easy to make Canadian pie recipe.  It is the first pie my mother ever taught to me bake as it has an easy graham cracker crust and inexpensive ingredients that are typically on hand.

flapper pie, flapper pie recipe, vintage pie recipe, vintage recipes,

Flapper Pie – The Easiest Pie Recipe Around

Classic lemon pie recipe.
Lemon Meringue pie with a cut serving.

Lemon Meringue Pie

A homemade lemon meringue pie recipe that includes recipes for the pie crust, the lemon pie filling, and a meringue.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:25 mins
Cook Time:35 mins
2 hrs
Total Time:1 hr

Ingredients

Traditional Homemade Pie Crust

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • c lard
  • 6 -8 tbsp very cold water

Lemon Pie Filling

  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • dash salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated lemon rind rind of one small lemon
  • cup fresh lemon juice juice of two lemons
  • 1 tbsp butter

Meringue

  • 5 egg whites
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¾ tsp vanilla

Instructions

Traditional Pie Crust

  • Place flour in large bowl, add salt and mix. Blend in lard, until the flour is crumbly and the lard is about the size of peas.
  • Place a scant amount of flour on the counter and roll out your pie dough. Transfer to pie plate, pick with a fork and flute the edge.
  • Bake your pie shell at 400 F for about 15 minutes, until edge is golden.

Lemon Pie Filling

  • Place sugar, cornstarch, flour, salt and water over low heat. Whisk to dissolve, it should be smooth without any lumps. Continue to cook, stirring often until thick. Remove from heat. Let cook until thick, remove from heat.
  • Separate the eggs, place the egg whitesin your mixing bowl for meringue, set aside. Place egg yolks in a small bowl, beat together.
  • Add a few tbsps of the hot liquid into the egg yolks and beat together. (If you add the eggs directly to the lemon mixture they cook too fast causing curdling bits of cooked egg whites.)
  • To bring the egg temperature up, slowly add a few tablespoons of the hot mixture to the egg yolks. Whisk well, then slowly drizzle the egg yolk mixture back into your saucepan. Give it a whisk and return to the low heat.
  • Continue cooking until your filling thickens and has large bubbles popping at the surface.
  • Remove from the heat add the 1 tbsp butter and lemon rind. Stir well and pour into your baked pie crust.

Meringue Topping

  • Place 5 eggs whites in a large mixing bowl, add the cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add in sugar whipping continuously until sugar is all dissolved.
  • While your pie filling is still warm. Cover your pie with large dollops of the meringue until its fully covered. With a knife gently spread ensure the meringue is over the edge of the pastry, and no big gaps are showing.
  • Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes or until golden. Watch the meringue closely to make sure it doesn’t burn. It can go from golden brown to scorched brown in a minute.
  • Let the pie cool at least two hours in the fridge before serving.

Notes

The excess can be frozen or baked or placed in pie tins and frozen. Or better yet bake more pie!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: Lemon Meringue Pie
Servings: 5 large pieces

I really hope that my post adequately describes how wonderful this recipe is.  Its been a family favorite for generations.

Let me know your comments on the recipe and your input on the new recipe post layout.  I would very much like to hear your thoughts.

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8 Comments

  1. Hi, there seem to be some typos in this recipe regarding the number of egg yolks and egg whites. Could you clarify? Is it 5 yolks in the filling and 5 whites for the meringue? Also, when you say to cook filling until “thick,” what consistency do you mean? Looks wonderful!

    1. Hi Jessica. Yes it is 5 yolks for the filling and 5 for the meringue. Thanks for letting me know it was confusing. I updated the recipe to make it easier. To define thick, the thickness is like a hand cream. Next time I make this I will time how long it takes to cook.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Hi Pam. Pies are always appreciated around here, so I am baking one a month. Hubs called me a couple of times on his way home from up north and each time he asked me if it was pie day. This recipe is much loved.

  2. Love it! Lemon flavored sweets are among my favorite things to eat and recipes with lemon zest are always promising. Never made a meringue before, believe it or not. I think that I will give it a try this Friday – will make individual pies.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      That’s wonderful. As an extra hint, for individual pies I might make the meringue thicker, by upsizing the recipe by a third. I bet they will be gorgeous. Have a great week Milena. I will drop by Craftbeering and see what your up to.

  3. Your pie looks amazing Leanna! When I was first married, I made a few ‘authentic’ lemon meringue pies and a few chocolate ones too. They are a bit of work cooking the custard, but the flavor is spectacular compared to anything purchased. Thanks for sharing your recipe, I need to make this again.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you Diane. This pie has such a light lemon flavor and because your making it yourself you can adjust the sugar and make it as sweet or tart as you like. I am glad to hear I inspired you.

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