Lemon Meringue Pie {recipe in three acts}

Lemon Meringue Pie | In Jennie's Kitchen

I first made Lemon Meringue Pie last year, and when I say first, I really do mean it was my first time in my 40+ years on the planet. I guess I get a pass for the first 10 years at least, right, but what can possibly forgive the rest? I love making pie, I love sharing pie, I love eating pie. Something about lemon meringue pie, though, always felt a bit elusive.

Jump straight to the recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie

It has to do with the prep involved. None of the steps alone are difficult, but they require planning, and since so much of my life is about strategically organizing my time, I much prefer recipes I can whip up on a whim. And if they’re one bowl, then even better. Lemon Meringue doesn’t fit neatly into those categories, and yet it’s still a pie worthy of being in regular rotation.

I’m sharing my recipe now because it feels perfect for Easter. Don’t think you need a holiday to make it, though. After making it once or twice, you’ll realize Lemon Meringue Pie is indeed easy enough to make on a random Monday. The lemon curd can be made in advance—let’s call this Act One.

Click here for more than 30 pie recipes from In Jennie’s Kitchen

The pie dough can be prepared up to 3 days in advance, and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to pre-bake the crust. I like to this think of this at Act Two (or maybe Act 2.1 & Act 2.2?). Once you’ve the got the pie crust baked, fill it with the lemon curd. Take a deep breath, and get ready for Act Three—you’re closer than you think to enjoying a slice.

Homemade Lemon Curd | In Jennie's Kitchen

When I first began making Lemon Meringue Pie a year ago, I used a French meringue to top the pie, and finish it in the oven.

This is a totally feasible way to make a good lemon meringue pie. For a great tasting, show stopping pie, my preference is Swiss Meringue. It was my first forkful of Lemon Meringue Pie made with Swiss Meringue that really sold me on the effort involved in all the steps required to make the pie. It helps that I really love using my torch to toast the meringue topping. I use a real, handheld blow torch I bought at the hardware store. It’s small, inexpensive, and works better than the tiny ones sold at kitchen supply stores.

Should you not have a kitchen torch, or feel uncomfortable keeping a blow torch in your house (I get that, really), you could finish this lemon meringue pie with a quick run under the broiler. If you use the broiler, keep a very close eye on the pie.

Swiss Meringue | In Jennie's Kitchen

Now, in case it wasn’t already evident, this Lemon Meringue Pie is different from many recipes I’ve researched because it doesn’t need to be cooked once the topping is added. That is quite common with French meringue topped pies. The Swiss meringue offers more structure to the resulting top layer of the lemon meringue pie, and also is cooked, so in theory, you could even skip the toasting part. While torching the meringue adds a lovely toasted marshmallowy taste, and obviously is drop dead gorgeous, it’s really not 100% necessary.

Oh, one last thing. The recipe I’m sharing today is for a six-inch pie. I know, why so small, Jennie? These little pies are the perfect size for my family of three. They yield six slices, on the small side admittedly, but with a pie full of so much flavor, I find a small wedge to be more than enough. You could cut it into four slices for a more generous serving. Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

p.s. should you crave a lemon meringue-like dessert during Passover, you could omit the crust, and bake half the meringue into crisp, nest-like shells (200ºF oven for 75 minutes). Then fill them with lemon curd, top with the remaining meringue, and toast it, if you like before serving.

Lemon Meringue Pie | In Jennie's Kitchen

Nine Years Ago: Sweet Potato Cheddar Muffins, Sweet Potato Pancakes
Eight Years Ago: Orange & Sesame Tofu Stir Fry, Homemade Nutella, Lentil Burgers
Seven Years Ago: Crispy Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, French Onion Tart, Chocolate Buttermilk Doughnuts
Six Years Ago: Everyday Banana Bread, A Kiss to Build a Dream
Five Years Ago:  That Girl, Eternal Flame
Four Years Ago: Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cinnamon Buns, Moroccan Mint Tea, Crispy Oven Fries
Three Years Ago: Irish Soda Bread, Blood Orange Sour Mix, How to Make Brown Butter
Two Years Ago: Pork Milanese, Homemade Vegetable Egg Rolls, Lemon Poppy Pancakes, Slow Roasted Chicken Soup
One Year Ago: Homemade Saltines, Buckwheat Soda Bread, Micheline’s Cucumber Salad, Lemon Honey Chess Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie {a recipe in three acts}

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 to 6
Let's talk about the pie crust for a moment. The recipe for my Perfect Pie Crust yields enough to make two 8-inch or four 6-inch pie crusts. It also uses an egg, so what is one to do if trying to make just one quarter of the recipe to yield one 6-inch pie crust? The answer is quite easy! Omit the egg, divide the remaining ingredients by ¼, and then proceed with the recipe as directed wth all the remaining ingredients. Should you decide to stock on pie crusts, you can also make the entire recipe as directed, divide it into four balls, roll them all out, and freeze the three remaining pie crusts. I've done this two ways very successfully. First way is to roll the crust out, then roll it up in waxed paper, and store in a tightly sealed ziptop bag. The second option is my favorite if you have freezer space. Roll the dough out, arrange it in the pie pan, flute the crust, and freeze. This way you can go straight to pre-baking it when you want to make your Lemon Meringue Pie. You can also use these homemade frozen pie shells to make pies with crumb topping (no need to thaw or pre-bake). Hopefully that all makes sense, but if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to leave me a note in the comments.

Ingredients

  • One single, pre-baked 6-inch pie crust (read recipe head notes for more on this)
  • ¾ cup chilled Lemon Curd (recipe here)
  • One batch Swiss Meringue (recipe here)

Instructions

  1. Once the pie crust has been baked, and completely cooled, spread the lemon curd into the bottom.
  2. Prepare the Swiss Meringue.
  3. Spoon large dollops of meringue over the lemon curd, making sure to also seal the edges of the pie crust so that there is no gap between the crust, curd, and meringue. Use your fingers to peaks in the meringue (Zoë François has a wonderful video in her Instagram storiesshowing how to do this).
  4. Use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue, or run under the broiler in your oven (keep a close eye). Ideally, this is best served when as soon as it's assembled, but it also tastes wonderful the next day, just note that the meringue takes on a sticky, marshmallow-like texture (keep chilled in the fridge, too).

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

1 Comment

  • Dominique

    I haven’t made many pies before and this seems a bit challenging for my skill level — but it looks fabulous. Maybe I will take this one on after I attempt some simpler pies.

    I pinned it to my new board.

    Have a lovely weekend!

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.