Mom’s Famous Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

4.84 from 24 votes

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Lemon Meringue Pie is one of my all-time favorites. Smooth, tart lemon filling with light and fluffy meringue that melts in your mouth. The best lemon pie you will ever taste!

Slice of Lemon Meringue Pie on a plate with sliced lemons.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Lemon Meringue Pie
  2. How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie
  3. Making Homemade Crust
  4. For The Perfect Meringue…
  5. Frequently Asked Questions about Lemon Meringue Pie
  6. More Delicious Pie Recipes
  7. Mom’s Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

This Lemon Meringue Pie is definitely one of our more treasured family recipes from our mom. We grew up on this dessert; it’s been a favorite in our family as far back as I can remember. Our dad always requests it to be one of the pies served at Thanksgiving dinner, many Sunday dinners and it has replaced his birthday cake on more than one occasion. You just can’t beat the tangy lemon curd pie filling, homemade pie crust, and the light and airy meringue on top. Perfection in every bite!

Ingredients for Lemon Meringue Pie including lemons, sugar, corn starch, butter, salt, eggs, water and pie crust.

Ingredients in Lemon Meringue Pie

Fresh lemon juice and lemon zest give the filling an irresistible tart lemon flavor. The meringue gets light and fluffy from whipped egg whites that turn a gorgeous golden brown in the oven. It really is the best lemon meringue pie recipe. A store bought pie doesn’t even come close to the deliciousness of this homemade treat. Here’s what you need:

  • Baked pie shell – You can buy a frozen pie crust at the store (they usually come two to a package) or make your own! Our homemade pie crust is easy to make and tastes so delicious!
Pie crust filled with Lemon custard for Lemon Meringue Pie.


  • Sugar – regular, white granulated sugar
  • Cornstarch – this helps thicken the custard
  • Salt – to taste
  • Water 
  • Grated lemon zest – use a zester or a grater to get about a tablespoon of lemon peel
  • Egg yolks – when you separate your eggs, save the whites for the meringue topping!
  • Butter – salted or unsalted butter both work great
  • Lemon juice – about half a cup of juice, or the juice of one whole lemon
Spoon spreading and forming peaks with the soft Meringue for Lemon Meringue Pie.


  • Egg whites – you’ll need about five to six large egg whites. Make sure they’re at room temperature
  • Cream of tartar – you’ll find this ingredient in the spices section of the grocery store.
  • Sugar
Serving spatula slicing into a baked whole Lemon Meringue Pie.

How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, cornstarch, salt, water, and lemon zest a boil, stirring constantly. 
  2. The secret to a silky smooth pie is stir stir stir! Stirring the filling constantly with a rubber spatula will ensure a flawlessly smooth texture. 
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the egg yolks. Let it simmer over medium heat for one minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Once again, remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and lemon juice.
  5. Pour into your baked pie crust and let it cool.
  6. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar together until foamy. You can use an electric mixer with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer. 
  7. Then, add sugar slowly to the mixture, whipping until stiff peaks form. 
  8. Top the pie with the light meringue and bake at 325 degrees for about ten minutes or until the soft peaks are lightly browned. 
  9. Finally, let the pie set until it’s time to serve.
Lemon Meringue Pie with a cut out slice.

Making Homemade Crust

For this recipe we almost always make our crust from scratch using our perfect pie crust recipe. If you are going to put the time in to making a great lemon meringue pie, it’s worth it to add a few extra minutes and make a great crust. Granted, we realize that sometimes time is of the essence and sometimes store-bought is the way to go. Either way, whether you are making homemade or using store-bought be sure to poke holes in the bottom of the crust or use pie weights to keep the crust from bubbling up. This will help the pie to fill more evenly.

Bowl of whipped meringue for Lemon Meringue Pie.

For The Perfect Meringue…

Whip egg whites on high speed to create egg bubbles. Those bubbles will get trapped inside as the meringue cooks. This gives it the light fluffiness that complements the creamy lemon filling to perfection.

Frequently Asked Questions about Lemon Meringue Pie

Should I refrigerate lemon meringue pie?

If you put the pie in the refrigerator too soon after baking, it can cause weeping (or liquid under the meringue layer) so let the pie sit at room temperature just until it’s set and before serving. After a few hours, you will need to cover it. Place toothpicks in the pie and gently drape with plastic wrap or cover with aluminum foil. Store in the fridge.

Is this pie best hot or cold?

You can serve it either way! Some really prefer a chilled lemon pie, but it’s really delicious served slightly warm, so the meringue melts in your mouth.

How can I make my custard thicker?

If your custard isn’t thick enough, you can add extra corn starch to some water and slowly stir it in. Flour, tapioca or potato starch are also often used as thickening agents.

Why does my lemon meringue pie get watery?

The crust of the pie can get watery if the crust has not been pre-bake. We recommend always using a pre-baked crust when making lemon meringue pie. The top of the pie can get watery (or weepy) by forming little beads of water when the meringue is overcooked, undercooked, or cools too quickly. We recommend letting the pie cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

Slice of Lemon Meringue Pie on a plate next to pie in a baking dish.

Read More: The BEST Traditional Easter Dinner Ideas

More Delicious Pie Recipes

Whether you’re baking up pies for the holidays, Sunday dinner, or a celebration, here are some traditional and unique pie recipes you will love!

  • Key Lime Pie – A traditional southern pie in a graham cracker crust. It is creamy, sweet, and tart all at the same time.
  • Easy Berry Pie – This pie is full of plump, juicy blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries and tastes delicious with vanilla ice cream. An easy pie recipe for any occasion!
  • Island Pecan Pie – Loaded with coconut, pecans, and pineapple, this pie is creamy and full of flavor.
  • Coconut Cream Pie – Coconut Cream Pie is a dreamy island dessert with a flaky crust, coconut filling that is made from scratch, and toasted coconut sprinkles.
  • Creamy Lemon Pie – This Creamy Lemon Pie is packed full of tart, lemon flavor and creamy goodness. This recipe is super easy to make and is always a crowd-pleaser!
  • German Chocolate Pie – This pie recipe comes straight from Amish country. The rich, gooey, chocolate filling is to die for!
Slice of Lemon Meringue Pie on a plate with sliced lemons.

Mom’s Lemon Meringue Pie

4.84 from 24 votes
Lemon Meringue Pie is one of my all-time favorites. Smooth, tart lemon filling with light and fluffy meringue that melts in your mouth. The best lemon pie you will ever taste!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8





  • In a medium-sized saucepot, bring sugar, cornstarch, salt, water, and lemon peel to a boil, stirring constantly. The secret to a silky smooth pie is stir stir stir!
    Sauce pan with custard base for Lemon Meringue Pie.
  • Remove from heat and mix in with wire whip 4 egg yolks. Return to heat for 1 minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in 3 tablespoons butter, then ½ cup lemon juice. 
    Egg yolks added to Lemon custard base in a sauce pan for Lemon Meringue Pie.
  • Pour into pie crust and cool.
    Pie crust filled with Lemon custard for Lemon Meringue Pie.

Meringue Topping:

  • In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in high speed until foamy. Gradually add ½ cup sugar beating until stiff peaks form.
    Bowl of whipped meringue for Lemon Meringue Pie.
  • Top pie with meringue. Using the back of a spoon, press lightly into the meringue and pull up to form little peaks.
    Spoon spreading and forming peaks with the soft Meringue for Lemon Meringue Pie.
  • Bake at 325 about 10 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.
    Baked to a light brown Lemon Meringue Pie.
  • Chill until set.
    Whole Lemon Meringue Pie in a pie plate next to a plate with fork and serving spatula.


  • Before baking the crust, use the tines of a fork to press down the edges or the pie around the edge or use your fingers to crimp the crust into a pretty design. 
  • Also using a fork, gently poke little holes in the bottom of the crust before baking to prevent the crust from bubbling up. You can also prevent the crust from bubbling up by using pie weights or even dried beans.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 401kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 5gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 237mgPotassium: 92mgFiber: 1gSugar: 51gVitamin A: 260IUVitamin C: 6.8mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 0.8mg

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About the author

Emily Walker

Emily lives in Meridian, Idaho, with her husband, Beau, a physician assistant, and her three incredible children: a son and two daughters. Travel is one of her favorite ways to experience new cultures and cuisines, and she has a love for all things Disney.

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


    1. The lemon filling is thickened with cornstarch. If you over work or over mix the filling, the cornstarch will weaken and it won’t work as well.

  1. 5 stars
    This Lemon Meringue Pie is delicious!! It’s was everything I wanted in my favorite flavored pie and will be making on a regular basis. Thank you!

    1. I hadnt made a lemon meringue pie since high school, but wanted to give it a go. This recipe looked easy, thought I would try it. So very glad I did! It was easy to follow and the tips helped so much. Thank you, we will be enjoying this for years to come

    1. We haven’t tried it that way before, so I’m not sure how that would turn out. Let us know if you do try it!

  2. 5 stars
    I hadn’t made a pie like this and was a little intimidated by the thought. But y daughter loves lemon and I followed your instructions and it was fantastic! Thank you!!

  3. my husband is diabetic. this is his favorite pie. my question is: can this lemon meringue pie be made with sugar substitute?

    1. Unfortunately we have never made this with a sugar substitute so we can’t say how it will turn out. Many sugar substitutes say that you can substitute at a 1:1 ratio but I don’t know how it will affect the consistency. Sorry I’m not much of a help here! If you decide to try it let us know how it turns out!

  4. 3 stars
    The favor was great. The meringue turned out without a hitch. The pie, however, did not set up for us. This was our first time making it and after doing a little research we found that after adding the eggs the time you cook for of one minute may not be as important as knowing to look for the mixture to be very thick. In a trouble shooting article it recommended to thicken it to almost sliceable because when you add the juice it will thin a great deal.

  5. 5 stars
    Haven’t tasted yet, but did lick the spoon and the lemon filling is fantastic. Used fresh squeezed lemon and zest. Hauled out the stand mixer for the meringue and it looks just as it should, although I could have made the meringue design a little prettier. Great recipe and thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much for the comment! It’s definitely tough getting the meringue just right. I have been making this recipe for years and I still can’t make it as pretty as when our mom does it!

  6. 5 stars
    Excellent pie! This is the best lemon meringue pie I’ve made yet! Saving this one!
    Creamy and not too sweet – did increase the lemon zest a bit.

  7. 4 stars
    Ok so if your like me and not a real cook or baker of any kind. Here is a tip pre-bake pie crust and cool before you start. And,..I think Out of the 1 1/2 cup of sugar I was sopost to set 1/2cup To the side for the egg white topping

    1. Lucy — you absolutely must pre-bake your crust, it is not optional. If not, your dough will be raw.
      Also, the filling recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups sugar and then another 1/2 cup sugar for the meringue.

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