Authentic Lemon Pie with Meringue- This is a fun recipe to make because Grandma keeps it sweet and simple. This pie is made without milk and is thickened with cornstarch and flour in addition to egg yolks. This is the best lemon meringue pie ever! It’s impossible to resist with a delicious homemade pie crust, tart and smooth lemon filling, and a fluffy toasted meringue topping.
A billowy and toasty meringue topping, a balanced sweet/tart lemon filling, and an extra thick and flaky pie crust characterize my lemon meringue pie recipe. I spent a long time perfecting this recipe, making at least a dozen meringue pies in the last few months. My kitchen and my mind were both exploding with lemons. Whenever we had visitors, I’d force lemons on them.
Authentic Lemon Pie with Meringue:
One of the few desserts that has received international acclaim is lemon meringue pie. The pie has a shortcrust pastry base, tangy lemon curd, and a fluffy meringue on top. It all begins with preparing and baking the pie crust. Flour, salt, butter, and water are combined to form a dough ball, which is then flattened, wrapped in plastic wrap, and refrigerated to rest. The dough is then rolled into a circle and placed in a pie mold, lined with parchment paper and topped with baking stones, and baked until golden brown. Eggs, sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice, and lemon zest are whisked together and simmered over medium heat for the lemon filling.
Cubed butter is stirred into the thickened mixture until it melts completely. The lemon curd is then evenly distributed across the shortcrust pastry and refrigerated to cool. Finally, for the meringue, whisk the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Sugar is added to the egg whites one tablespoon at a time, which are then whipped until stiff peaks form. The pie is then baked with the meringue on top.
What Is The Origin Of Lemon Meringue Pie?
The Quakers invented the first lemon curd in the late 1700s. This dessert became popular among American families in the South and California before being imported to Europe via Switzerland.
Chef Alexandre Frehse of Romandie is credited with creating the first lemon meringue pie recipe. Gasparini, an Italian chef from Meiringen, a small town in the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, is credited with inventing meringue in 1720.
Elizabeth Goodwell, a Philadelphia pastry chef, codified the recipe for the pie as we know it today in 1806.
For the dough
- 2 Cup flour
- 10 tbsp. unsalted butter
- ¾ cup icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ almond flour
- 1 egg
- a couple of drops vanilla extract
For the lemon curd
- 4 organic lemons juiced + 2 lemons zest
- 1/3 cups sugar
- 2 vanilla sugar packets (or 2 tablespoons sugar + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 2 egg yolks + 3 whole eggs
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 6 tbsp melted butter
For the meringue
- 3 beaten egg whites
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
How To Make Authentic Lemon Pie with Meringue?
- Sift the flour directly on top of the work surface, then sprinkle with the almond flour.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and rub them into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture is sandy and free of butter chunks.
- Make a well, then add the egg, sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Without kneading too much, combine all of the ingredients with your fingertips.
- Work the dough lightly to homogenize it and form it into a ball.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 6 hours, wrapped in plastic wrap.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes before working with it.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Roll out the dough into a 10-inch (25-cm) pie pan and lightly poke with a fork.
- Cover with parchment paper and dry beans.
- Bake for 10 minutes with and 5 minutes without the dry beans on top. Place aside.
Curd of Lemon
- Put the lemon zest, juice from four lemons, and sugar in a large pot. Warm up the mixture.
- Mix together all of the eggs and the vanilla sugar until the mixture is pale and firm.
- Add the hot lemon to the eggs gradually, without stopping the processor.
- Put this in a saucepan over low heat and whisk constantly while adding the cornstarch.
- When the mixture thickens, remove from the heat and set aside for a few minutes before whisking in the butter.
- 2 minutes on medium speed, beat the egg whites with the salt.
- Pour in half of the sugar and continue to beat for 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining sugar and continue to beat for 3 minutes.
- Increase the speed to maximum and continue to beat for 4 minutes.
- The pie crust must be completely cool.
- Spread the lemon curd on top.
- Set aside for 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Decorate with the meringue using a pastry bag.
- Lightly toast with a handheld blowtorch.
Tips And Tricks:
- Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature before beginning to make the meringue. Room temperature egg whites not only whip faster than cold eggs, but also produce more volume.
- When making lemon meringue pie, weeping meringue is a common issue. To prevent a slick layer from forming between the meringue and the curd, make sure the curd is hot before topping it with the meringue. This allows the meringue to slightly cook from the bottom. Furthermore, the bowl in which the meringue is being made must be dry, clean, and grease-free.
- After you’ve spread the meringue over the curd, swirl it around with a spatula. This will result in little peaks on top of the pie, giving it a more rustic appearance.
- It’s not always clear how to tell if the curd is properly cooked. One solution is to run a spatula through the curd to see if you can see the bottom of the pan for a couple of seconds before the curd falls back on itself.
- Allowing the pie to cool before cutting and serving ensures a perfect slice of lemon meringue pie. If the pie is cut before the curd has stiffened, it will most likely break and the meringue will fall. You should also cool your knife in cold water before cutting the pie.
Three Elements for the Best Lemon Meringue Pie
A perfect lemon meringue pie consists of three components:
- A lemon pie filling with just the right amount of tartness and sweetness.
- A tall and tender meringue topping that has been lightly browned.
- Of course, the crust. This is how I make an all-butter crust for lemon meringue pie, but you can easily substitute a store-bought frozen crust for this recipe.
The Trick To Making Lemon Pie Filling for Lemon Meringue Pie
A lemon meringue pie is built on a lemon pie filling. It’s made with egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and zest, and it’s fortified with cornstarch to keep its shape when you cut the pie.
What happens if the lemon filling does not properly set? No one wants a runny filling!
According to Shirley Corriher (author of Cookwise, a fantastic book), the problem arises when the egg yolk comes into contact with cornstarch. Egg yolks contain an enzyme that can thin out the starch, resulting in a runny filling. Because enough heat deactivates the enzyme, the solution is to bring the filling to a boil for a long enough time to neutralize that enzyme.
You’d think that boiling egg yolks would cause them to curdle, but after tempering and combining them with the starch mixture, the starch prevents them from curdling.
How To Store Lemon Meringue Pie?
Allow your pie to cool completely on a wire rack at room temperature after it has finished baking. If you cut into the pie while it is still warm, the lemon base may be runny. After the pie has cooled, place it on top of a cooling pack covered with a tea towel to help firm up the base.
This pie is best served the same day it is made. If you have leftovers, store them in the refrigerator, loosely wrapped in plastic wrap. The pie will technically keep for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator, but meringue has a tendency to weep the longer it sits in the refrigerator, so eat it as soon as possible!
Lemon’s Health Benefits:
Lemon, in addition to being high in vitamin C, is used for water retention, digestion, anti-aging properties, hangovers, sore throats, diabetes, and other ailments.
- This pie can be made a day or two ahead of time and served chilled.
- For a zingier flavor, add more lemon juice and zest! Remember to deduct the same amount of water from the recipe.
- Substitute a tablespoon of corn starch for a looser pie filling. Although it may be more difficult to obtain a clean piece, you will enjoy the texture!
- The egg wash will keep your crust from becoming soggy, so don’t skip it!
- This pie also works well with a cookie crust, so don’t be afraid to experiment! Crush up some lemon shortbread cookies!
How Do You Keep Lemon Meringue Pie From Weeping?
The Italian meringue used in this recipe is much more stable than the simpler French variety. As long as your filling is free of condensation, you won’t have to worry about weeping. Baking meringue can destabilize it slightly, so browning it with a torch also helps with this.
How Do You Keep Lemon Meringue Pie From Getting Soggy?
Baking your pie shell with an egg wash creates a moisture barrier, keeping your pie crust nice and crisp. If you intend to store your pie for a longer period of time or use a “wetter” filling with less corn starch, brush a layer of melted white chocolate onto the baked and cooled pie crust to act as a barrier.
How Long Does It Last In Fridge?
Your lemon meringue pie will keep at room temperature for a few hours but should be refrigerated for longer. A lemon meringue pie will keep in the fridge for about 3 days.
Make Ahead, Shelf Life, and Storage Tips:
Prepare the crust, line the pie plate, and crimp the edges ahead of time.
Refrigerate this overnight before completing the rest of the pie.
Keep lemon meringue pie in the refrigerator after baking and serve within 1 day. The meringue will eventually separate and become watery the longer it sits, so leftovers won’t last long.
Lemon meringue pie does not freeze well and is not recommended for storage.
Looking for more lemon pie recipes
- 75 g cornstarch
- 220 g sugar
- 125ml lemon juice
- 300 ml water
- 2 tsp lemon zeste
- 60 g butter diced into cubes
- 3 eggs
- 100 g additional sugar
- pie crust
- vanilla pod
- 70gr granulated sugar
- 200gr all purpose flour
- 125gr cold butter
- 1 egg
- First of all Prepare the pie crust, by opening the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds.Mix in a bowl the vanilla pods and the granulated sugar.
- Also Sift the flour on your working space. Cut the butter in pieces and work it by hand with flour until the until the preparation is sandy.
- Dig a small well in the mix obtained.Crack the egg and pour sugar and vanilla mix. Mix by hand all the ingredients, but without kneading them too much.
- mash the dough to make it homogeneous, then roll it in a loop, wrap it in a film and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
- melt the remaining butter.Coat in a 26cm diameter pie pan with removable bottom (or 6 tart pans). garnish with dough.
- Now bake in pre-heated oven 15 minutes at 200 Cº.
- For the filling in a sauce pan, put in cornflour, granulated sugar, and the lemon zest, add water and mix until you get homogeneous consistency. gradually add the lemon juice and water, bring to a boil at medium high heat, without stopping mixing. Cook 1 minute until you get homogeneous consistency and shiny.
- Remove from heat and add the egg yolks one by one, and the butter.
- immerse the bottom of the pan in cold water to stop the cooking.
- Spread the cream on top of the pie.
- For the meringue, beat the egg whites and add gradually the sugar into the mix.
- Finally brown it with a torch, and let it cold before serving.
Amount Per Serving Calories 424Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 11.6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 0mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0.9gSugar 57.7gProtein 5g