Lemon Meringue Pie, When Pigs Fly

Lemon Meringue Pie
Let’s face it, sometimes a person just can’t get enough PIE. I love a good challenge in the kitchen and honestly, there aren’t many bakers that have their meringue-game ‘in the bag’. I certainly didn’t think I did, until I lucked into making a pretty decent recipe, and I didn’t have to wait for pigs to fly. (See end of post where I tie these TOTALLY unrelated topics together.)

Lemon Meringue Pie

This pie was sensationally gorgeous, and for once I didn’t burn the meringue. (aka: no one came and rang my doorbell, the dishwasher didn’t chime, the dryer didn’t buzz, I didn’t have a child with a total freak out/meltdown/blood injury, I didn’t see a shiny object… yes I get distracted THAT easily.) Imagine that. The meringue was lovely, easy to work with and didn’t bead up with moisture like some meringue pies do. Oddly enough, the humidity was high when I made the pie too so I expected it.

I’ve joked lately that I brush my teeth with lemon curd, and this filling tastes like the best curd, ever. Seriously people, this is the condiment of my dreams and I am beginning to wonder if I need a jar for my purse in case of an emergency. I love LEMON CURD. This pie is like a lemon bar on ‘roids. Tons of citrusy lemon filling + the delicate pillow-y meringue = sign me up. Oh, and I pretty much knocked out this entire pie myself over the course of 3 days, slice by slice. Yes. I. Did. My family apparently doesn’t worship citrus like I do.
Real Pig Farming
In other news, this week is the World Pork Expo. It is a really neat event where many pig farmers from across the globe, who raise pigs in many different settings and environments convene at the fairgrounds in Des Moines, to gain tons of insight and information. There is a great trade show, seminars about pig farming, and a REALLY awesome PIG SHOW!
My gal pal in crime, Brandi and her son Conner will be hauling their pigs down for the show… and yours truly may have a few in the show ring too. (*disregard the beers in the picture above, that was State Fair last year… Stockman’s. Don’t even. I mean, I needed them, and it was hot, and they ran out of Pepsi. Okay?)

Will I see you at #WPX2015? Use Twitter to find me: @FoodSwineIowa!

To all of my friends who tell me… “I don’t bake pies. I’ll bake a pie when pigs fly…” START YOUR OVENS.
Show Pigs

Now… about that lemon meringue pie.


Lemon Meringue Pie

This traditional pie will surely impress anyone who shares a meal with you. Use Meyer lemons if you can. If you can't get any, substitute one orange in the mix with your lemons. It will
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 1 9" pie
Author: Cristen


For the Crust

  • 1 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 stick Butter cold, cubed into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Ice Water
  • 1 tsp vinegar

For the Lemon Filling

  • 2 1/4 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 1/4 cups hot tap water 6 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Lemon Juice approx 5 lemons
  • zest of 1 large Lemon (around 1 1/2 TBSP)
  • 5 tbsp Butter at room temperature (I use salted butter)

For the Meringue

  • 6 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract optional, but I love it!


For the Crust

  • Combine dry ingredients, cut in butter, add we ingredients until dough holds together. Pat into a disk, wrap in plastic. Rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes. When chilled, remove from refrigerator, roll out on floured work space, fit to pie plate (do NOT stretch). Roll crust under, crimp edges. Poke crust with a fork. Place pie weights on aluminum foil or dry beans or rice on foil. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then remove foil and rice/beans/etc. Return crust to oven, bake an additional 10 minutes until crust is golden. Remove from oven, set aside to cool to room temperature.

For the Lemon Filling

  • Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir in hot tap water and whisk until smooth. Over medium high heat, bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Temper 6 egg yolks with some of the hot mixture (stir a bit of hot mixture in with yolks to raise their temperature so they don’t scramble.) Whisk constantly and stream in yolks until well combined and all added. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. Return to heat and boiling, for 4 minutes until well thickened. Stir frequently during cooking. Remove from heat. Cool to warm. (I speed process along by stirring this mixture often to release heat and popping it into the freezer a bit.) Must cool to warm. Spoon into pie shell.

For the Meringue

  • To a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, or with a hand mixer, whisk egg yolks and cream of tartar until foamy. Slowly add sugar in a small stream with mixer running. Whisk whites/cream of tartar/sugar until very stiff peaks form and meringue is glossy. Scoop delicately over lemon filling in pie. Spread meringue to the edges of the pie to 'seal' the meringue. Gently place a spoon on top of meringue and pull up to get a curly pretty top. Bake meringue at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. DON'T LEAVE MERINGUE UNATTENDED... this part is important!
  • Remove pie from oven, let sit at room temperature. You can serve as is, but I recommend chilling the pie. *Meringue may weep a bit going into the refrigerator, but trust me, it is no big deal. It happens! *Summer humidity is tough when baking meringue pies. :)


Serve at room temperature or chilled (my preference).
Know this: The meringue may shrink or weep when this pie goes into the refrigerator. Nothing to be scared of. Facts of pie-life.
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  • Reply Katy Flint June 1, 2015 at 1:16 am

    This looks amazing! I love Lemon Meringue pie! Now….do you do Sour Cream Raisin?

  • Reply Ashley M-K June 17, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    I have to agree that meringue pies are so hard. For my birthday one year my mom and I made a from the old Betty Crocker cookbook Lemon Meringue Pie for my birthday because they are my favorite. It honestly turned out perfect. I mean, like perfection in a pie. We have never been able to duplicate the perfection from scratch! I am totally going to try your recipe and see if I can get it right.

    • Reply Cristen June 18, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      I think that BC recipe is the bomb! This recipe does have more filling and more meringue I think. Lemon Meringue Pie is fussy… not a beginner pie at all for sure! :)

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