Ultimate Lemon Meringue Pie

by jenna on March 11, 2014

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Hi guys!

We just got back from our little babymoon to the gorgeous Canyon Ranch and I am feeling totally relaxed and renewed. We took hundreds of photos and I’m working on a recap post now to share everything with you guys very soon!

But right now, we need to talk about this pie. I seriously cannot believe I have never shared this recipe with y’all before!

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This was my absolute favorite childhood dessert. I actually nicknamed it “Lemon on a Cloud Pie” because, to a seven year old, that’s exactly what this pie is like! I remember sharing the recipe with my third grade class and it was a big hit. :) Still is today!

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I called it Lemon on a Cloud Pie back then because the “crust” is just a big mound of fluffy meringue. My mom used to let me help her beat the egg whites until my arms couldn’t take it anymore. And once it went into the oven, no peeking allowed!

sidenote: the above photo was taken just five minutes before I dropped my precious Kitchen Aid glass mixing bowl into the sink and it shattered into a thousand pieces. Thankfully, I had scooped out all the meringue first. I’m not going to lie – I did cry a little about it. Darn pregnancy hormones.

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The pie filling is a quick homemade lemon curd mixed with whipped cream. In every bite of pie you get bits of crust that manage to be both soft and crunchy at the same time followed with sweet and tart whipped cream. It never ever fails to impress and is the perfect Spring party dessert to whip out! Trust me, everyone will think it’s way more complicated than it actually is.

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The hardest part for me was {and is} letting it set for an hour or so in the fridge. I always want to dive right in and have been known to leave a few finger swipes around the edges. I love to top this pie with raspberries, just cause it’s so pretty, but you don’t have to! You could leave it plain or top with blueberries or blackberries instead.

So there ya have it! I get asked a lot what my favorite dessert is and this pie is definitely up there. It’s very nostalgic for me and reminds me of home. My mom somehow acquired the recipe back in the 70’s when she was a flight attendant, so I can’t take full credit for this one. But trust me, make it! You’ll love it!

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Ultimate Lemon Meringue Pie

yields one 9″ pie

Print this Recipe!

Ingredients:

6 eggs, separated

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

juice of 1 large lemon {1/4 cup}

zest of 1 large lemon

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Spray a pie tin well with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Whip the egg whites {place the yolks in the fridge for a later step} until foamy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar and cream of tartar while your mixer is running. Increase mixer speed to high and beat for about 8 minutes, or until stiff glossy peaks form. Spread this mixture into your prepared pie tin, making the sides of the crust higher than the middle. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let the crust sit inside for one more hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Prepare a double burner {I just use two pots for this} over medium heat. Add the yolks to the top pot and whisk well. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Continue whisking until the mixture has thickened – about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Once your lemon curd has cooled, whip your cream until soft peaks form. Fold the lemon curd into the whipped cream and smooth into your pie crust. Place in fridge and let sit for 1-3 hours.

Enjoy!

Time:

active time ~ 30 minutes

total time ~ 4 hours

 

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Jojo @ RunFastEatLots March 11, 2014 at 3:33 am

What a beautiful pie! I can imagine it’ll melt in your mouth

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Emily @ Life on Food March 11, 2014 at 4:06 am

This pie looks so light and fluffy! Just in time for Pie Day!

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rebekah March 11, 2014 at 4:08 am

I love lemon desserts (especially when pregnant) and this looks sooo delicious. :) I am definitely going to make this soon. Oh and sorry about your bowl :(

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Nicole March 11, 2014 at 4:22 am

Lemon meringue is so amazing. I cannot wait until spring is officially here so I can start making light desserts!

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Anne @ CandyCrazedrun.wordpress.com March 11, 2014 at 4:33 am

Oh no! Your poor mixer! I would have cried too, and I am most certainly NOT pregnant :)

I cannot wait to make this for my mom on Mother’s Day, she will love it!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 11, 2014 at 4:36 am

So glad you had such a great time at Canyon Ranch – although I’m not sure how it would be possible not to! I dream of visiting that place! Can’t wait for your recap. And THIS PIE! Lemon meringue pies are a childhood memory for me too. My gran used to make them with a traditional crust, lemon curd layer, and then the meringue on top. However, I was never really wild about the crust, and always preferred the meringue layer over the lemon curd. This version however, sounds absolutely amazing! I love the idea of a more creamy lemon layer. Come on, spring!

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Deb @ Dietitian Debbie Dishes March 11, 2014 at 4:55 am

What a perfect dessert for spring! I never knew you could substitute crust for meringue – sounds delicious!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks March 11, 2014 at 5:25 am

I would have cried my eyes out about the mixer. Not just replacing it but cleaning up.all.that.glass. …. shudder!!

The pie is stunning and I hope you had extra after the mixer snafu!

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 11, 2014 at 5:32 am

Your mom was a flight attendant?! That’s so cool! Also, this pie looks amazing!!!

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Sara @ LovingOnTheRun March 11, 2014 at 5:59 am

Oh my this looks amazing! This is one of my favorites Pies. I need to make this SOON!

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Rita March 11, 2014 at 6:01 am

Uum! I will be making this next week while im off from substitute teaching for spring break. I also got re-imbursed by the awsome people at fashionABLE. And, made your awsome crockpot chicken tikka masala this past Saturday. LOVE,LOVE,LOVE that stuff. Thanks for being so awsome!

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Laurie March 11, 2014 at 6:14 am

Oh my goodness! This is EXACTLY the recipe my mother used to make and it was my favorite childhood dessert!! I’ve never seen anyone else make it so I was so excited to see you have this recipe. Funny we have the same family recipe, because I grew up in California and I’m 53!! I’ve loved your blog since you started it and I was living in Taiwan. Now I’m in Kenya with my hubby doing humanitarian work and we just climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro! I am definitely going to make this pie when I return to the States!! Thanks, Jenna!!

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Chicago Jogger March 11, 2014 at 6:26 am

I love this! Such a springy pie. I’ve never heard of using meringue as the crust; delicious.

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Kelsey March 11, 2014 at 6:57 am

Can we have another baby update soon ? :(
I love the recipes and everything else but I want to see how your little baby bump is growing and hear about how you are feeling lately.

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jenna March 11, 2014 at 7:36 am

yes!

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colleen March 11, 2014 at 7:25 am

Looks like you buy a premade pie crust and put the filling in…do you have any brands you like best?

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jenna March 11, 2014 at 7:36 am

Actually, the crust is the meringue here – you don’t need to use a premade crust at all!

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Han March 11, 2014 at 7:26 am

You should tweet Kitchen Aid about that mixing bowl! I bet they’re have mercy on a pregnant food blogger :)

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erin @hooleywithaz March 11, 2014 at 7:46 am

i would have cried about the bowl too. i don’t think i could have then also cleaned it up on my own. i would have invoked the pregnant wife clause. but what a recipe to go out on!

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joelle (on a pink typewriter) March 11, 2014 at 8:25 am

Love that cute name for the pie!

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Bryony @ Bryony Cooks March 11, 2014 at 8:57 am

I love lemon meringue pie and this recipe looks amazing! Glad you had a good time at Canyon Ranch!

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Jolie March 11, 2014 at 9:09 am

Hi! If I were to use trader joes lemon curd ( 10.5 oz- love it!) or any pre made lemon curd, do you know how much I would mix in with the whip cream.

Thanks

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jenna March 11, 2014 at 4:23 pm

If you use premade lemon curd, I’d use about 3/4 cup.

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Josie March 11, 2014 at 9:57 am

Would it be okay to let it sit overnight in the fridge? Would the meringue crust get soggy at all? I need to make a pie Sunday night to bring to work Monday (to celebrate pi day! albeit a couple days late) so I’m looking for one that would be okay overnight. And I happen to love lemon meringue…

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jenna March 11, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Yes, it would be fine sitting overnight. The bottom layer of the meringue is still soft and the top is crunchy – I wouldn’t say it would get “soggy” but it might soften up a little more. We’ve served it the next day dozens of times though and it’s always been fine.

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Nicole March 11, 2014 at 9:58 am

Is it possible to make this if i don’t have a stand mixer or even a handheld mixer? it looks so damn good.

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jenna March 11, 2014 at 4:22 pm

It is totally possible! Just consider it your arm workout for the day. You’ll need to REALLY beat the meringue with a wire whisk for probably 12 minutes or so until stiff glossy peaks form.

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Jennie @themessybakerblog March 11, 2014 at 10:42 am

I would have cried, too, and I’m not pregnant. That is awful. Those things are pretty thick; I’m surprised it shattered. The whipped, cloudy filling is so inviting.

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Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe March 11, 2014 at 10:48 am

This pie looks wonderfully light! Plus, I’m a sucker for anything lemon!

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Judith Scott March 11, 2014 at 10:53 am

Jenna,
This pie looks absolutely amazing! Can’t wait to try it. One of my favs from childhood too..and something I craved desperately when I was pregnant with baby #1. Glad to hear I wasn’t alone in that particular desire.
I’m sorry about your bowl, but as I’m the world’s biggest klutz I have stainless steel bowls only for my Kitchen Aid.
I agree you should contact them, look at all the free press they get from you!And also wanting to see how you look adorable, I’m sure :-)

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Katrina @ WVS March 11, 2014 at 11:09 am

Definitely one of my all times fav’s! Love this recipe!

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Danae @ reciperunner March 11, 2014 at 12:09 pm

This pie screams spring! It looks so light and fluffy. Waiting for pies to chill is always the hardest part, I too have been known to swipe my finger around the edge, quality control right?

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kara March 11, 2014 at 1:34 pm

When I was a kid, I lived overseas and one of my best friends was from New Zealand. She introduced me to pavlovas – a dessert made by baking a crust of thick whipped meringue and then topping/filling it with flavored whipped cream and fruit. I saw this and immediately realized that I need to make a lemon pav. Like … right now. :)

Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration!

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Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts March 11, 2014 at 2:22 pm

This looks like the lightest, fluffiest, prettiest pie ever! Love it!
[ps: so sorry about your bowl - I probably would have cried too!]

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Coty and Mariah@quirksandtwists March 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Saw a pre-made lemon pie today at the grocery, this looks waaaay better!

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Alanna March 11, 2014 at 5:21 pm

This is definitely my kind of pie – that crust! The meringue lightens it up while adding the crunch factor. Definitely saving this, thanks! Sorry about the bowl!

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Kim @ roaming raspberry March 12, 2014 at 4:42 am

This is amazing! I want to eat it right now!

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Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic March 12, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Love the idea of meringue as crust!

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Bri March 13, 2014 at 7:30 am

Made this last night! What I couldn’t get over, aside from how delicious this was, was how beautiful it is! Love love love. Thank you for sharing!

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Jess. March 13, 2014 at 8:31 am

I read this recipe while eating breakfast and started in on making it as soon as my breakfast dishes were in the sink! Waiting on it now. Can’t wait to try it!! I had never made meringue or lemon curd and both were so much easier than I would have imagined!

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laura March 13, 2014 at 2:46 pm

this is chilling in the fridge!! i was surprised at how much meringue i had–it was overflowing from my pie pan. i think next time i’ll probably just do 4 egg whites rather than six, though it was nice having not having extra egg whites or yolks in this recipe. can’t wait to eat it after dinner!

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Laura March 15, 2014 at 7:01 pm

I love lemon curd, but haven’t been able to have it for years because of lactose intolerance. I had no idea you could make it without butter! Presumably you could make the curd, and it would still be good even without the whipped cream? I’m envisioning a pavlova with lemon curd. :)

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