Sky High Lemon Meringue Pie

How to make tall meringueLemon meringue pie is probably one of my favorite desserts. I just love it! And although it might seem like a spring/summer thing, I totally think a little citrus during these cold months helps keep the winter blues away. But I love the bright, pop of citrus flavor any time of year.

Easy lemon meringue pieI used to find meringue-topped pies really difficult. But over the years I’ve found a few tricks/tips that help ensure a perfect meringue every time. I’m happy to share my fool-proof tips with you, along with my favorite lemon meringue pie recipe. Are you ready for some citrus in your life?

Lemon pie recipeSky High Lemon Meringue Pie

For the filling:
3/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cake flour
3 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup lemon + lime juice*
zest from 1 lemon
3 egg yolks

For the meringue:
12 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon corn starch (this helps keep the meringue a little drier, to avoid weeping)
6 tablespoons sugar

*Note: I like to use 1-2 lemons and half a lime for the juice. I know, it’s “lemon” meringue pie, so what’s that lime doing in there?! I personally think adding a little lime juice creates a slightly more complex/interesting flavor. But, you can use all lemon juice if you don’t have a lime on hand or if you’re a purist. 

First make the meringue. The reason we make the meringue first is so it will be ready just as soon as our filling is ready. You want to add meringue on top of a HOT filling (not cooled, repeat, not cooled), as this ensures that the bottom of the meringue will begin to cook along with the top and you can avoid a weeping meringue situation.

In a glass or metal bowl with an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high until foamy. While your mixer is still running, gradually add in other ingredients and beat until stiff peaks form, 6-7 minutes. It helps if your egg whites are at room temperature, but if they’re not, don’t fret. It just may take a bit longer.

Lemon fillingNow on to the filling and pie crust. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake your pie crust until almost baked through. I used a store bought crust (the refrigerator section kind), and I actually wish I hadn’t for this. This pie has some liquid components (the citrus pudding filling and meringue top), so you really want a drier pie crust or it can get just a little bit soggy. Next time I’ll either make my own crust or use a store bought one from the freezer section as I find them to bake a little flakier/drier.

To keep lumps out of your filling, start by sifting together the cake flour and corn starch. In a pot, combine the sugar, cake flour, corn starch, salt, water, zest, and citrus juice. Whisk together over medium heat until warmed through. Pour a few tablespoons of this warm mixture in with the egg yolk (in a separate bowl) and stir to combine. This tempers the eggs, so they won’t immediately cook. Once tempered, add the yolks to the milk mixture and bring to a low boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly (I prefer a whisk for this to avoid clumps). The mixture will thicken into a pudding/custard. While it’s still hot, pour into your prepared crust, top with meringue and bake for 10-12 minutes.

How to make meringue likea proIf your oven runs hot, you may want to reduce the heat to 325°F for this pie as you really want the meringue to have time to bake through before the edges brown too much.

Also, you can see that I baked my pie on a baking sheet. Why? It makes it easier to move this jiggly pie to and from the oven. If you’re doing a really tall meringue like this, it’s also good to check and make sure your oven racks are placed so they can fit the meringue. I actually removed my top rack before preheating to accommodate the size of this pie. It’s not called “sky high” for nothing!

Easy lemon meringue pie Allow to cool for 1-2 hours before cutting into and serving the pie. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Sky High Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cake flour
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup lemon + lime juice*
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 egg yolks

For the meringue:

  • 12 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch this helps keep the meringue a little drier, to avoid weeping
  • 6 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. First make the meringue. The reason we make the meringue first is so it will be ready just as soon as our filling is ready. You want to add meringue on top of a HOT filling (not cooled, repeat, not cooled), as this ensures that the bottom of the meringue will begin to cook along with the top and you can avoid a weeping meringue situation.
  2. In a glass or metal bowl with an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high until foamy. While your mixer is still running, gradually add in other ingredients and beat until stiff peaks form, 6-7 minutes. It helps if your egg whites are at room temperature, but if they're not, don't fret. It just may take a bit longer.
  3. Now on to the filling and pie crust. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake your pie crust until almost baked through. I used a store bought crust (the refrigerator section kind), and I actually wish I hadn't for this. This pie has some liquid components (the citrus pudding filling and meringue top), so you really want a drier pie crust or it can get just a little bit soggy. Next time I'll either make my own crust or use a store bought one from the freezer section as I find them to bake a little flakier/drier.
  4. To keep lumps out of your filling, start by sifting together the cake flour and corn starch. In a pot, combine the sugar, cake flour, corn starch, salt, water, zest, and citrus juice. Whisk together over medium heat until warmed through. Pour a few tablespoons of this warm mixture in with the egg yolk (in a separate bowl) and stir to combine. This tempers the eggs, so they won't immediately cook. Once tempered, add the yolks to the milk mixture and bring to a low boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly (I prefer a whisk for this to avoid clumps). The mixture will thicken into a pudding/custard. While it's still hot, pour into your prepared crust, top with meringue and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  5. If your oven runs hot, you may want to reduce the heat to 325°F for this pie as you really want the meringue to have time to bake through before the edges brown too much.
  6. Also, you can see that I baked my pie on a baking sheet. Why? It makes it easier to move this jiggly pie to and from the oven. If you're doing a really tall meringue like this, it's also good to check and make sure your oven racks are placed so they can fit the meringue. I actually removed my top rack before preheating to accommodate the size of this pie. It's not called "sky high" for nothing! Allow to cool for 1-2 hours before cutting into and serving the pie.

Recipe Notes

*Note: I like to use 1-2 lemons and half a lime for the juice. I know, it's "lemon" meringue pie, so what's that lime doing in there?! I personally think adding a little lime juice creates a slightly more complex/interesting flavor. But, you can use all lemon juice if you don't have a lime on hand or if you're a purist.

  • Hey Emma! I’d like to make this pie and I prefer baking the crust myself. do you have any pie crust recipes i could use for this? (: thanks so much! xx

  • is cake flour the same thing as normal flour?
    if not, can I just use standard normal flour?

  • YES! I was looking for a good recipe for a lemon pie! Definitely making this sometime this week! 😀

    http://www.misadventuro.us

  • Thanks for the recipe & tips. With the arrival of spring, I’m ready for all things lemon: tarts, cakes, custards, & pies! Happy Wednesday 🙂

    http://www.createspace.com/5346769

  • This looks so delicious! Also, so beautiful that I wouldn’t want to slice into it! Must try this for our next dinner party – thanks for sharing.

    xo,
    http://blog.alwaysmeclothing.com/

  • My mom loves this, it is one of her favorites. Next time she visits I will have to try this recipe.

  • Uhm..yum! I’ve always been a bit scared of actually trying to make meringue, but this looks so delicious, and doable! Plus…I’m pretty sure it’d look really impressive on top of a cake plate.

  • Your pie looks SO DELICIOUS!! And I feel like with that mile high meringue it would totally win 1st place in a pie contest! Quick question (it’s been awhile since I have made a lemon meringue pie) how did you pile the meringue so high and peaky?

  • Looks so gorgeous and beautiful!

    thegildedlifestyle.blogspot.com

  • This is a great recipe!!! I would try it! I always used to do the lemon pie in the chilean way: 2 jars of sweetened condensed milk – 1 cup of lemon juice – 2 egg yolks. Its easier but i definitely would try yours 😀

  • That is the most beautiful dessert I have ever seen!!!!! I want to eat it right now!

    xoxo,
    Kalyn Goff

    www.diaryofablonde.com

  • Is it okay to say that I’ve actually never tried meringue?! It wasn’t a common thing to have while I was growing up in Portugal, and now that I’m an adult I gravitate towards chocolate based desserts.

    Next on my bucket list!!!

    Rita
    http://heyrita.co.uk

  • omggg, one of my fave desserts! looks SO good!

    xx nikki
    www.dream-in-neon.com

  • I always find it difficult to have the perfect temperature for meringue, but this looks so good! I need to try that 🙂

  • This looks delicious! It makes me want to get in the kitchen and bake! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Laura
    www.laurahager.blogspot.com

  • Delish! Lemon is my favorite flavor for Spring because it is so fresh!

  • Ah! Yum! This looks amazing! Citrus and spring should always be paired together. 🙂

    http://sometimesgracefully.com

  • What a beautiful pie… and thanks for making me want pie early in the morning. 🙂

  • I’ve never made a lemon meringue pie but hopefully that’ll change very soon! This looks delicious! And a lot easier than I thought it would be 🙂

  • So so gorgeous! Definitely have to try it! x
    Madeleine, The Daily Mark

  • This looks delicious ….any suggestions for what to do with the other egg yolks? =)

  • Looking at it makes me high! I love lemon meringue, it’s one of my favorite pies ever. The amount of meringue on this pie is over the top, I love it!

    Juju
    http://www.jujusprinkles.com

  • It’s a bit cruel of you to post this amazingly delicious looking pie (lemon meringue pie is probably my favorite. or key lime), while I’m halfway through my whole 30. But, something for the to-bake list in April, right? I’m drooling all over the place.

  • The photography in this post ROCKS. Is it weird I want a print of those eggs & lemons for my kitchen? Just lovely.

  • OHMAIGAWD YES! Am 5 months pregnant right now and all I care about are sweets and citrus fruits. This could turn the next 4 months around for me!

    http://www.ReadTheThread.com

  • So delicious!!! Love the photos too. Drooling over here.

    http://permanentdaydream.com

  • Ahh, that looks so perfect! My favourite part is always the meringue though haha. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!

    THOUGHTS IN TIFFANY BLUE

  • That is one sky high meringue! I have not made a lemon meringue pie in years, but this makes me want to try again! Key lime pies are also amazing.

    M.

  • This looks so delicious! and I love that picture of the uncooked and cooked versions side by side. Gorgeous!

  • That’s beautiful meringue! I love these types of pies–and anything lemon. They remind me so much of all the southern ladies I have known throughout my life… it seems that they were always bringing one to a church potluck or on a hot summer day, if we went over there’d be one of these, or maybe a lemon icebox pie out on the counter for company.

    Jo.

  • This looks absolutely delicious! The kicker though: I’ve never even had lemon meringue pie! Like, ever!
    I know, I can’t explain it either. But this really makes me want to try! 🙂
    x Motte
    http://mottesblog.blogspot.com/

  • I’ve never made a lemon meringue but I’m a huge fan of citrus. Your pie looks totally gorgeous & thank you for the tips. I didn’t know adding the meringue to a cool pie would end up in a weepy, sad pie.

    :] // http://www.itscarmen.com ▲

  • This looks so beautiful! I just want to stare at it haha!

    x
    www.etsy.com/shop/paperblooming

  • We had an older lady at my church growing up who used to make lemon meringue pies for fellowship suppers and she often did really tall meringue like this. Reminds me of her. (Although I think her’s were a little better than mine—she’s a true pro!)

    -Emma

  • This looks so good I’m salivating. Lemon meringue is my favourite. Thanks for the tips.

  • My mother is the queen of lemon meringue press! They bring back so many memories and are one of my favorites. I know it’s hard to imagine in cold climates, but lemons are actually in season in the winter, so it’s the perfect time for this post. Beautiful.

    Http://absolutelytara.com

  • The picture got me like, “yeeeees”.

    jeansandmacaroons.blogspot.com

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