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The Best Lemon Meringue Pie Classic Recipe

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lemon meringue pie on gray towel

Lemon Meringue Pie is sweet, fluffy, airy, and tangy all in a beautiful laid bright yellow and white pie. Easy to make a hit with your family for a delicious summer dessert. A perfect dessert to make the day before a family and friends dinner party. Just looking at a lemon meringue pie make your mouth water as you think of summer picnics. 

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slice of lemon meringue pie on white plate with fork

How to Make the Process of a Lemon Meringue Pie Simpler

Making a lemon meringue pie consists of 3 basic steps. This process while simple can become overwhelming if you think of it as one big step. When first reading the recipe you may think this is too complicated. But I can walk you through a process that can speed up the recipe and make it all worthwhile. 

When you take the first bite of your fresh lemon meringue pie it will be worth all the effort and your family will be begging for you to make one each weekend this summer. 

This lemon meringue pie recipe is the one my family has used for years and is quick and easy using Jell-0 Lemon Cook and Serve Pudding. Using a box pudding speed up the filling process so you can spend more time on the fresh meringue. 

However, making the lemon pudding from scratch still is not that complicated. If your pie if for guests at your house I recommend you make the crust the day before and the filling and the meringue the morning of.  

For less stress over making lemon meringue pie, you can make it in stages. If you are making a homemade pie crust this can be made and refrigerated the day before and even 3 to 4 days before. 

Another time-saver is to buy a ready-made crust like a Pillsbury pie crust from the refrigerated section in your store. The box comes with two crusts but you can always freeze the second and save it for another pie.  

whole lemon meringue pie on whit counter

Tips for the Perfect Lemon Meringue Pie

1st: Make the pie dough the day before you serve. You can make just the dough and put in the fridge or you can bake the bottom crust, let it cool and cover in plastic wrap and put in the fridge.  This way on the day you will be eating the pie one step is completely done. I have found that it is best not to use my pie weights when cooking the crust. 

2nd: The second step the filling can be made from Jell-O Lemon Cook & Serve Pudding & Pie Filling. This makes step 2 quick and easy. 

3rd: To have that Wow factor when you bring out the pie, use 1 to 2 additional egg whites for the meringue. The original recipe calls for 3 eggs Whites but I use 4 to 5 egg whites. This makes a mile high white fluffy top to the pie. (in my opinion the best part)

4th: When baking the meringue only bake for 15 minutes and then watch constantly.  The meringue will burn fast and you only want a light brown. 

top of lemon meringue pie on white counter

The Traditional: Recipe from Scratch from Betty Crocker

For a perfect lemon meringue pie from scratch I always us the Betty Crocker Classic Lemon Meringue Pie recipe.  You can not go wrong with Betty’s recipe and I have made it many times.

To get this great taste with less work, I use my traditional pie crust recipe found in my post: Pie Crust – Easy as Pie.  I make the crust the day before so it is ready to make on the day I serve the pie.  (But do not hesitate to use a ready-made pie crust at your local store). 

I follow the recipe on the back of the Jell-O Lemon Cook & Serve Pudding & Pie Filling

I then make my meringue from the Betty Crocker recipe adding 2 extra eggs for lots of Meringue. 

I start early in the morning and keep the pie in the fridge until ready to serve. 

lemon pudding in pie shell on white counter

Ingredients Needed for a Delicious Lemon Meringue Pie

Pie Crust: You only need one pie crust for this recipe as the top is the Meringue. One crust form a pre-made store-bought or one homemade, see the recipe for Pie Crust from Scratch

Lemon Jell-O Pudding and Pie filling 

Lemon for juice and zest

Eggs: Yoke for the pudding, whites for the meringue

Cream of Tarter: To help the egg whites form a firm peak.

Vanilla for favoring

Sugar

Water

lemon meringue pie on gray towel on counter top
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slice of lemon meringue pie on white plate with fork

The Best Lemon Meringue Pie Classic Recipe

Lemon Meringue Pie is sweet, fluffy, airy, and tangy all in a beautiful laid bright yellow and white pie. Easy to make a hit with your family for a delicious summer dessert. A perfect dessert to make the day before a family and friends dinner party. Just looking at a lemon meringue pie make your mouth water as you think of summer picnics.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pie 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  1. Pie Crust – 1 only for the bottom (see recipe Pie Crust Easy as Pie! or a pre-made crust from the grocery store like Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Pie Crust.

For the Lemon Filling:

  1. Box of Jell-O cook & serve lemon pudding & pie filling
  2. 1/2 cup of sugar
  3. 2 & 1/4 cups of water
  4. 3 large egg yolks
  5. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  6. 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon zest

For the Meringue

  1. 5 to 6 eggs whites at room temperature
  2. 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  3. 6 tablespoons of sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°
  2. If making your pie crust from scratch, make the day before and wrap the pie dough in plastic wrap. Bring out to room temperature and roll out for the bottom crust.
  3. If using a refrigerated ready-made crust, let one of the crusts in the box warm to room temperature, and then line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan.
  4. Allow 1 inch over the edge of the pie plate and fold over and make the traditions 2 fingers and thumb fluting edge.
  5. Bake the pie crust for 12 to 15 minutes or until a light brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  7. Lower the temperature of the oven to 350°

For the Pudding Filling from the back of the Jell-O Pudding Box

  1. In a saucepan on the stove heat the box of Jell-O pudding, 1/2 cup of sugar, 3 beaten egg yolks over medium heat. Add the 2 and 1/4 cups of water and stir with a whisk to remove any lumps.
  2. Bring to a full boil stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and lemon zest.
  3. Cover and leave warm while you make the Meringue

For the Meringue:

  1. In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer add 5 to 6 eggs to a large bowl.
  2. Start the mixer on low and add the cream of tartar.
  3. As you are beating slowly add the sugar and the vanilla.
  4. Turn the mixer to medium and beat until the egg whites are a glossy stiff peak.

Final Steps:

  1. Add the lemon pudding to the cooled pie crust.
  2. Pile high the egg whites over the top of the pudding making sure to cover all of the pudding to the edge
  3. Bake pie at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes, keep watch on the pie after 15 minutes as each oven varies in temperature and you do not want the meringue to burn or become too brown.
  4. Allow the pie to cool for 20 minutes then put in the fridge for 4 hours to have the pie set. Do not cut too soon as the filling will run.

Notes

  1. If you use the Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Pie Crust – you can freeze the second pie crust for later.
  2. You do not need pie weights for this recipe.
  • Author: Crafting a Family
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Lemon Meringue Pie

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