The Queen of Lemon Meringue

My grandmother, Geeg, could make a lemon meringue pie that would make you weep with wonder. It was sweet without being too sweet, and tart without being too tart. She put on enough meringue, but not so much that it was top-heavy. I think she believed in finding the balance and moderation in all things. This pie truly always was the star of the dessert table at our family gatherings. We ALL loved it.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Geeg passed away a long time ago, but for me she will always reign as The Queen of Lemon Meringue. And, Geeg, if you are looking down on me, I hope I did you proud.

Lemon Meringue Pie
Recipe type: Sweet Pie, Pastry
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8-10
Prep time:
Bake time:
Total time:
1 pre-baked single pie crust
For the Filling
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1-1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 egg yolks, fork beaten
  • zest of 1 large lemon
For the Meringue
  • 5 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
For the Filling
  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt.
  2. Add the water and constantly stirring with a whisk, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 2 more minutes while continuing to whisk. Don't be afraid to whisk vigorously as it gets thicker.
  3. Take ¼ cup of the hot mixture and stir it into the fork beaten egg yolks. Return to this to the saucepan and cook for 2 more minutes or until the mixture is thick.
  4. Stir in the butter, lemon juice, and zest and cook for another minute.
  5. Immediately pour into the pre-baked pie crust.
For the Meringue
  1. In a clean and cold bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric handheld beater or a stand mixer.
  2. Add the pinch of salt, and the sugar while you mix.
  3. Lift the beaters out when you can see soft peaks in thick foamy waves. That's when it's done.
  4. Put the meringue on the hot lemon filling starting at the edges first. Make sure the meringue reaches all the way to the edge of the crust so there are no gaps.
  5. Then add the rest of the meringue in the middle so that the filling is completely covered.
  6. With the handle of a spoon or the blade of a knife, pull up some soft peaks.
  7. Place in a preheated 375F oven for 6 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving.
My grandmother, Geeg, didn't have an electric beater for a long time. She either whipped her egg whites with a fork or used a hand beater. And, she didn't use cream of tartar in them either but you can add a pinch if you like!


Share Art of the Pie


  1. says

    I have made this wonderful pie a few times,and everyone always says ” This is the best Lemon Meringue Pie I have ever had”! Thanks Kate for sharing.

  2. Donna says

    We talked at Pie Camp about how LM pie is my favorite and your Grandmother’s lemon meringue pie. I am glad to see a blog dedicated to this wonderful pie!

    Thank you for the recipe, I will be making it soon!

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