Ultimate Lemon Pie


• 1 9″ baked graham cracker crust


• 1 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup cornstarch
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• 6 large egg yolks
• 1 Tbsp. zest from 1 lemon
• 1/2 cup lemon juice from 2-3 lemons
• 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
• 1 1/2 cups water

Meringue Topping:

• 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
• 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 4 large egg whites
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1/3 cup water


  1. Whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt together in large nonreactive saucepan. Add egg yolks, then immediately but gradually whisk in 1 1/2 cups water.
  2. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally at beginning and more frequently as mixture begins to thicken, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk in zest, then lemon juice and butter.
  3. Bring mixture to a good simmer, whisking constantly. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat, place plastic wrap directly on surface of filling to keep hot and to prevent a skin from forming.

Meringue Topping:

  1. Mix cornstarch and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally at beginning and more frequently as mixture thickens. When mixture starts to simmer and turn translucent, remove from heat.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix cream of tartar and sugar together. Beat egg whites with vanilla until frothy. Beat in sugar mixture, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until sugar is incorporated and whites form soft peaks. Drop in warm cornstarch mixture, 1 Tbsp. at a time, and continue to beat meringue to stiff peaks. Return saucepan of filling to very low heat during last minute or so of beating meringue to ensure that filling is hot.
  3. Immediately pour filling into pie shell. Promptly distribute meringue evenly around edge, then center of pie, with a rubber spatula to keep it from sinking into filling and making sure it attaches to pie shell to prevent shrinking. Use back of a spoon to create peaks all over meringue.
  4. Bake until meringue is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.


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