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Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie. Old fashioned & scratch made!

Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie. If your lemon meringue pie comes from powder in a box, STOP! A fantastic homemade lemon meringue pie, made completely from scratch, tastes much better and is actually just as easy to prepare.

Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

Here’s one for the lemon lovers. Made completely from scratch, just like Grandma used to make. No artificial anything here! So much better than those artificial powder pretenders. Reminds me of Sunday suppers while growing up.

How to zest a lemon 700 x 800ideo collage of 3 steps of how to zest a lemon

How to zest a lemon, to maximize flavor.

A homemade lemon meringue pie is a good reason to perfect your pastry making technique too. I always recommend that beginner bakers start with pastry pie shells before moving on to two crust filled pies.

Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

You will get a better feel for working with the the dough and likely have more success in getting a flaky pastry if you practice with making pie shells for filled or custard pies first.

Umbaked pastry crust in a glass pie pan.

How to blind bake a pastry crust. First, prepare the pastry as directed.

Add a layer of parchment paper and bking weights, like this brown rice, I use many times over.

Add a layer of parchment paper and baking weights to the unbaked pastry shell, like this brown rice, which  I use many times over.

Pastry crust after teh first 15 minutes, baking weights removed.

Bake pastry crust for 15 minutes, then remove the baking weights and bake for about 5 minutes more.

Finished flakey pastry crust.

Finished flakey pastry crust.

Lemon cut in half on a wooden board

Fresh lemons bring bright, fresh flavour to so many desserts.

Perfect your flaky crust technique here and then move on to two crust fruit pies when you are more comfortable with pie pastry.

Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

The filling should be very thick before adding the egg yolk mixture.

Are you a pie lover?

You may also want to check out this popular collection of our Top Ten Pie Recipes!

Top Ten Pie Recipes by Rock Recipes photo collage with title text for Pinterest

Originally published Oct, 2007

Like this Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie recipe?

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Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

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Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie
Yield: 12 servings

The Very Best Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

If your pie comes from powder in a box, STOP! A fantastic homemade lemon meringue pie, made completely from scratch, tastes much better and is actually just as easy to prepare.


For the Pastry. Sufficient for two 10 inch pie shells.

  • 1 cup very cold butter cut into small cubes
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup ice water, or a little more. Only enough to make a dough form.

For the Filling

  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1/3 cup cake flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 5 egg yolk slightly beaten
  • Zest of 2 lemons, very finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons, about 1/4 cup.
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp butter

For the meringue

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • ¼ tsp cream of tarter
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


To make the pastry

  1. Using a food processor or a pastry blender cut cold butter into flour and salt until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Small pieces of butter should still be visible.
  2. Pour cold water over the mixture and work in by tossing with a fork until dough begins to form. Use your hands as little as possible and work the dough as little as possible.
  3. Divide dough into 2 balls, flatten into 2 rounds, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes. You can freeze the second round for another time.
  4. You can make your dough the previous day but make sure you take it out of the fridge for 10 minutes to warm slightly before rolling out.
  5. Roll the dough into a 12 inch round and place in the bottom of a 10 inch pie plate.
  6. Trim and flute the edges as desired. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the pastry shell, rest in the refrigerator for an additional 20 minutes before baking at 400 degrees F for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. (For best results I often now blind bake the crust as shown tin the photos above.)
  7. Cool completely before adding the filling.

To make the filling

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine corn starch, cake flour, sugar and salt. Pour in water and stir constantly over medium low heat until mixture comes to a slow boil.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and reduce the flame to low.
  3. Pour about a cup of this mixture onto the slightly beaten egg yolks while whisking constantly.
  4. Pour the egg mixture back into the rest of the other mixture in the pot, whisking constantly.
  5. Return to the stove and cook for an additional 3 minutes stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and lemon rind.
  7. Finally whisk in your butter one tbsp at a time.
  8. Pour the filling into the baked and cooled shell. Let stand for a few minutes while preparing the meringue.

To prepare the meringue

  1. Whip egg whites, vanilla, salt and cream of tarter to soft peaks.
  2. Very gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat the egg whites.
  3. Dollop in heaping tablespoonfuls onto pie. Gently spread over the filling, making sure that the meringue touches the crust all the way around the pie. This will help to prevent the meringue from shrinking.
  4. Bake in a 325 degree F oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the meringue is well browned. Cool pie thoroughly in the refrigerator before serving.
  5. Keep refrigerated.
  6. Dip a sharp knife in cold water to help with cutting the pie into slices and clean the knife with paper towel between cuts.


In reviewing the comments and following up with some people who had issues with this recipe, please note that you should not attempt to make any substitutions. At the end, when it says to add the butter, ONLY REAL DAIRY BUTTER will work. Many people have reported using margarine, even the tub of spreadable margarine. That is the road to sure disaster. Butter means butter.

- The amount of lemon juice is often asked about online and in emails. I get about 1/4 cup of lemon juice out of 2 lemons. For safety sake don't add more than that. The lemon flavour comes mostly from the zest anyway. The juice just gives it a little tangy flavour. -Be sure to cook the base enough before adding the juice and butter. Use a silicone spatula to scrape the bottom as you stir, so that the mixture will not burn, but it has to be as thick as possible as is shown in the photo.

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 299Saturated Fat 12gCholesterol 129mgSodium 284mgCarbohydrates 27gSugar 20gProtein 3g

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Friday 12th of April 2019

Hello, LOVE your site, Barry! I just thought I'd add a little note: when making the crust, I use my food processor as you mentioned, but I keep it running as I very slowly add the very cold water (from the fridge) until it just comes together in a ball. This way I can easily judge the correct amount of water to add without adding too much. As you said, I then wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for about 10 minutes before rolling. Thank you from Ontario!!

Barry C. Parsons

Wednesday 17th of April 2019

That's good if it works for you. I do it for short crust pastry. Stick with the shortest time in the food processor that you can or else you may over work the dough and incorporate the butter too much and your pastry will not be flakey.


Thursday 11th of April 2019

All worked beautifully except The dough. I followed recipe correctly, used a pastry blender...looked great but the 1/4 c of cold water or a little more did not get the misture wet enough to make a dough that I could roll out. I had to use a store bought crust. What happened?

Barry C. Parsons

Wednesday 17th of April 2019

The dough needs to rest in the fridge for the water to equalize through the dough. It's fine to have a dry dough when it is wrapped. It comes together in the fridge. More water will only make for a tough, not flakey crust.

Lil Cook

Saturday 30th of March 2019

Tried this pie tonight, it turned out beautifully! Not sure why other’s filling wouldn’t thicken, mine did no problem;although it did take a little while so maybe it just takes a little more patience. The only issue I had was I didn’t beat my meringue long enough so my peaks fell a little and it spread over the edges of the pie so I had to cut the excess off; but that was an error on my part. Overall it turned out pretty good! This recipe is definitely a keeper if you like lemon!


Thursday 28th of February 2019

Can I just use a frozen pie shell ??

Barry C. Parsons

Tuesday 5th of March 2019

Not sure why you're asking that but yes, it is your choice.


Friday 21st of December 2018

Is it absolutely necessary to use cake flour? I have celiac and can only use gluten free flour, could I just substitute?

Barry C. Parsons

Sunday 23rd of December 2018

I've only ever made the recipe as is.

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