A traditional French-style lemon meringue tart with tangy, zesty and creamy lemon curd filling in a crisp and flakey homemade butter crust with a light and airy meringue on top that tastes delicious.
This pie is a lemon lover’s dream come true! Tons of zing and a perfect balance of sweetness and textures in each bite. I loved this recipe with a homemade butter crust but you can make a crushed cookie or nut crust if desired.
How to Make a Lemon Meringue Pie Crust:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F or 200 degrees C.
2. To make the pie crust; In a food processor, combine all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt then whiz together.
3. Add cubes of cold butter and pulse until you have small pieces. Drizzle in the ice-cold water while pulsing then carefully remove the blade and use a spatula to give a final mix.
4. Dump the mixture out onto a pastry mat, on a floured surface. Knead together a couple of times then form the pastry dough into a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap or in a ziplock bag and let it set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
5. With a rolling pin, on a well-floured surface, flatten out dough into a circle at least 1 inch larger than the pie pan rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough so it doesn’t stick to the board.
6. Refrigerate the rolled dough again for 30 minutes. Turn the dough in a greased pie dish without stretching.
7. Make a shape with hands by gently pressing the dough. With a small sharp knife, cut the dough 1 inch larger around than the pan.
8. Prick the dough with a fork.
9. Dock your pie crust. Add a round parchment paper to the crust surface then add tin foil or aluminum foil and fill the foil with beans weight, to keep your pie crust propped up during baking. Bake at 425 degrees F or 200 degrees C for 15-20 minutes.
10. Make the egg wash by mixing the egg and heavy cream together. Take out the tin foil and parchment paper then brush the crust with the egg wash. Now dock the pie crust with a fork or sharp knife and add a tent of foil around the sides.
11. Bake for more 15-20 minutes at 425 degrees F or 200 degrees C until the center is golden. Once the center is golden, remove the pie crust from the oven and set aside to let it cool completely.
Lemon Curd Filling:
12. Zest 2-3 lemons for at least two tablespoons of zest. Juice lemons to obtain a 3/4 cup of juice.
13. Add sugar and egg yolks in a heatproof bowl. Add one or two inches bottomed above water in another saucepan and bring it to boil. When water begins to boil, reduce the flame to simmering the water and place egg yolks bowl onto the simmering water saucepan. Whish the egg yolks and sugar with a hand whisk until it incorporates well.
14. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt in the egg mixture and whisk continuously. Cook for 7-10 minutes until it thickened, when it holds on your fingertip. you don’t want clumps!
15. Remove from heat and add butter in it. Butter will melt with the heat of curd. Mix with a hand whisk. Lemon curd is ready. You can store it in the fridge in an airtight jar. When the filling has cooled down a bit you can transfer to pie crust, smooth with a spatula and chill.
16. To make the meringue you will beat the egg whites with a stand mixer, add salt and cream of tartar or lemon juice and continue beating form starts to become.
17. Add gradually sugar in egg whites and continue whisking at higher speed until stiff peaks are formed.
18. Add the meringue onto the cooled pie. use a spatula or spoon to create little peaks and wisps. Torch the meringue with a kitchen torch or broil in the oven for a minute or two until golden brown. Chill in refrigerator until set, about three hours.
- You can make this pie a day or two ahead, served chilled and it will be delicious!
- Add more lemon juice and zest for an even zingier flavor! remember to subtract an equal amount of water from the recipe.
- For a more firm pie filling add a tablespoon of corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup of water.
- The egg wash will prevent your crust from getting soggy so don’t skip that step!
- This pie works well with a cookie crust too so feel free to experiment! Try crushing up some lemon shortbread cookies!
For the Pie Crust
- 2-1/2 cups or 300 grams all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 4 tablespoons or 36 grams granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon or 3 grams sea salt
- 1 cup or 225 grams unsalted butter, chilled
- 2-4 tablespoons or 60 ml ice-cold water
- 1 egg for the egg wash
- 1 tablespoon cream for the egg wash
For the Filling
- 5 egg yolks at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon or 2 grams salt
- 1-1/4 cups or 250 grams granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest add more if you want extra zing!
- 3/4 cup or 177ml lemon juice
- 8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup or 113 grams butter, unsalted
- Yellow food color optional
For the meringue
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Pie Crust
In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Whiz together. Add the cubes of cold butter and pulse until you have small-sized pieces. Drizzle in the ice-cold water while pulsing then carefully remove the blade and use a spatula to give a final mix.
Dump onto a pastry mat or floured surface and knead a couple of times then form into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F or 200 degrees C.
With a rolling pin, on a well-floured surface, flatten out into a circle at least 2 inches larger than the pie pan.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Turn the dough into the greased pie pan without stretching. Press into pie pan.
With a small sharp knife, cut the dough 1 inch larger around than the pan. Fold the edge and prick the dough with the tines of a fork.
Add a round of parchment paper frilled on the edge onto the crust. Now press tin foil onto the paper and fill with beans weight, pushing it against the edge of the crust. This will keep your pie crust propped up during baking.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
Take out the tin foil and brush crust with an egg wash, Made with an egg mixed well with a tablespoon of cream. Dock the pie crust.
Add foil around the sides. Bake another 15- 20 minutes at 425F or 200C until the center is golden.
For the Filling
Zest 2-3 lemons for at least two tablespoons of zest. Juice lemons to obtain a 3/4 cup of juice.
Whisk together the five egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl then set aside.
Add one or two inches water above bottomed saucepan and brings to boil. Reduce the heat and place egg yolks bowl onto simmering water.
Whisk to combine then pour in lemon juice, salt, and zest and whisk again. You don't want clumps!
Whisk continuously until thickened. About 5-10 minutes or so.
Remove from heat and add in butter and stir until all is melted.
For the Meringue:
Beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar or lemon juice, slowly add in sugar and continue beating until sifft peaks form.
For the Assembly
Pour lemon filling into pie shell and smooth.
Add meringue onto pie leaving a small border of the lemon curd exposed. use your spatula or a spoon to create some swirls and peaks for visual interest.
You can toast the meringue with a kitchen torch or broil for about 1-2 minutes or until meringue is golden. Chill until pie is set before cutting, about 3 hours.
You can make this pie a day or two ahead, served chilled and it will be delicious! Add more lemon juice and zest for an even zingier flavor! remember to subtract an equal amount of water from the recipe. For a more firm pie filling add a tablespoon of corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup of water. The egg wash will prevent your crust from getting soggy so don't skip that step! This pie works well with a cookie crust too so feel free to experiment! Try crushing up some lemon shortbread cookies!