Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon meringue pie is a luscious showstopping dessert. Creamy lemon filling topped with Swiss meringue in a cookie crust. What more could you ask for?

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon meringue pie has been one of my all-time favorite desserts for as long as I can remember. However, few things are as disappointing as a bad lemon meringue pie recipe. For me, the crust isn’t as important and I am happy with either a cookie or pastry crust. But the filling and meringue have to be spot on. The filling should be creamy, bright and packed with lemon flavor. The meringue should be marshmallowy with a thin, crisp outer shell adding some chewiness to the pie.

I used an easy filling made with sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and lemon juice because the process of lemon meringue can be quite long. The cookie crust also cuts down on time but if you want a more stable crust (one that will last better at room temperature) feel free to go for a baked pie shell. Either store-bought or a homemade pie crust will work well.

Ingredients needed

  • Graham crackers/Digestive biscuits.
  • Melted butter. I used salted butter but unsalted butter can also be used.
  • Sweetened condensed milk.
  • Eggs. You’ll be using both the egg yolks and egg whites for this recipe.
  • Fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • Caster sugar/super fine sugar.

How to make lemon meringue pie

  1. Cookie crust: Make the cookie crust by blending Graham crackers/digestive biscuits and melted butter in a food processor. Press into a pie dish/tart case and bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool.
  2. Make the filling: Stir together sweetened condensed milk, large egg yolks, lemon juice and zest in a medium bowl then pour the mixture into the baked pie crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the outside is set but the center of the pie jiggles a little. Remove from the oven, allow to cool to room temperature then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours. I always make it the night before so that the filling has sufficient time to chill and set.
  3. Finish with meringue: Use your favorite meringue recipe to top the filling. I prefer using Swiss meringue which cooks the raw large egg whites and sugar over a double boiler set over medium heat then whip/whisk until glossy, stiff peaks form.  I made the meringue in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment but an electric mixer can also be used. Swiss meringue is more stable (which means less weeping will occur) and adds to that marshmallow-texture I like. Top the chilled pie with Swiss meringue topping then bake for another 20 minutes at a low temperature or caramelize the meringue with a blow torch before serving.
Swiss meringue on lemon meringue pie

What is the best meringue for lemon meringue pie?

Swiss Meringue is in my opinion the most stable meringue to work with. It’s a little more work than classic French meringue but it behaves much better. It’s also safe to eat (without baking) as the process of melting the sugar into the egg whites cooks the egg whites.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Can I make a lemon meringue pie in advance?

If you want to make this pie in advance I would suggest baking the crust and filling and then stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Simply top with Swiss meringue, torch and serve.

Can I refrigerate this pie?

You can, but there is a high chance the meringue will weep. If it’s very hot, this might be your only choice. There’s nothing wrong with meringue that is weeping and the pie will still be delicious. If refrigerating, keep the pie loosely covered with foil.

Lemons in a bowl


How do you keep a lemon meringue pie crust from getting soggy?

There are a few things that cause meringue to weep. Firstly, if sugar isn’t dissolved into meringue properly, the granules can cause weeping. Over baking meringue can also cause weeping and baking on humid days will definitely have an impact on the meringue. I’ve also found that meringue that is refrigerated has a tendency to weep.

Why do you put cornstarch in meringue?

Corn starch can be added to meringue to stabilize the egg whites. It absorbs excess liquid in the meringue and prevents it from deflating.

Why do you put hot sugar in meringue?

Italian meringue is made by whipping hot, melted sugar into egg whites. Similarly to Swiss meringue, this gives you a very firm, glossy meringue that is more stable then French meringue and is also safe to eat as the egg whites have been cooked by the hot sugar.

Lemon dessert recipes

  1. Mini lemon curd cheesecakes
  2. Easy lemon drizzle cake
  3. Lemon cupcakes
  4. Lemon yoghurt cake with white chocolate frosting
  5. Luscious lemon tart 
Baked lemon meringue pie

Pie recipes

  1. Chocolate cream pie
  2. Banana cream pie
  3. Cinnamon brown sugar pecan pie
Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon meringue pie

Lemon meringue pie is a luscious showstopper dessert. Creamy lemon filling topped with Swiss meringue in a cookie crust. What more could you ask for?
4.87 from 68 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Pie
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy lemon meringue pie, Lemon meringue pie, Swiss meringue
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Chilling time: 3 hours
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Calories: 500kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 12


For the crust

  • 300 g (approx 3 cups) Graham crackers/Digestive biscuits
  • ½ cup butter melted

For the filling

  • 2x 400g cans sweetened condensed milk
  • ½-¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (start with ½ cup and add more to taste)
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 6 extra-large egg yolks

For the Swiss Meringue

  • 6 extra-large egg whites
  • cups sugar


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. 
  • Combine the cookies and butter in the bowl of a food processor and blend until fine. 
  • Transfer to a 23cm/9in pie dish/tart case and press into an even, thin layer, up the sides of the dish. 
  • Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. 
  • To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. 
  • Once the crust is baked, pour in the filling and return to the oven. 
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edge of the filling has set and the middle is still jiggly. 
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before transferring to the fridge and chilling for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight. 
  • When the pie is chilled and the filling set, make the Swiss meringue. 
  • Combine the egg whites and sugar in a large glass/metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk/stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved. To test, rub a little of the mixture between your fingers. If you feel sugar granules, continue stirring, if it’s smooth remove it from the heat. 
  • Transfer the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer), and with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. 
  • Dollop the egg whites onto the chilled pie and decorate to your preference. 
  • At this point you can caramelize the egg whites with a kitchen blow torch and serve immediately. Alternatively, bake the meringue for a further 15-20 minutes at 160ºC/320ºF until it is a pale golden color and the meringue feels set and firm when touched. Remove from the oven and allow to chill before serving. 


Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 70g | Vitamin A: 636IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 184mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

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


  1. This would have to be the best lemon meringue pie recipe ever. My son requested this pie as his 16th birthday cake. The swiss meringue turned out perfectly, baked in the oven and the lemon curd was delicious. I would only suggest to add extra butter in the in biscuit base, as I did. 10/10. Thank you

  2. This is the recipe I used to make 50 years ago. Back then, I would sometimes buy a pastry base and just make the filling and meringue topping. I always baked the filling, then allow it to cool before I added the topping. The quantities were halved as the base was smaller. I have just today bought a pastry base and will surprise my hubby with this pie for dessert tomorrow night!

  3. Hi Alida

    If making these in minis – like mini cupcake size or normal cupcake size, what baking time would you recommend for the curd?


  4. Hi Alida, I normally make a lemon meringue pie as per your ingredients but with the standard meringue topping. I would like to try your swiss meringue topping but was wondering if could still just put iton top the the filling and then bake all at once, rather than bake the filling first ,then again with the swiss meringue topping?

    Also I normally use tennis biscuits, but never baked the crust, should I still bake the tennis biscuit base.


    1. I always bake a cookie crust, it makes for a better crust in my opinion. I haven’t tested baking the swiss meringue with the pie. I do find that when the meringue is baked with the pie, it often weeps leaving you with a wet layer under the meringue which is why I prefer baking the filling first.

  5. Mine is more curd like, wish to try yours, looks so yummy, can you send me recipie as I have no printer. Thank you! Cindy

  6. Hi
    Thank you so much for this recipe. I will be baking the meringue as you noted. However you mentioned to chill it. Does that mean leave out for a while to cool down and the pop in fridge to chill?
    I will be making it the night before as wont have any time on the day…would it make the meringue weep?

    1. I wouldn’t suggest making it too far ahead because the meringue definitely has a chance of weeping. The best idea is to assemble and bake the pie but only top with the meringue just before serving. You can then just quickly torch the meringue with a blowtorch for some color.

      1. Thanks for you prompt response. Unfortunately I wont have time on tbe day thats why need to prep a day before. I wilk be baking as dont have a torch either 🙁 sorry so many questions. Whats the best way to store overnight?

  7. Hi Alida, what do think about substituting the sc-milk with coconut milk + sugar? and how much sugar??

  8. So I tried this with my m-i-l last night. It was good, but let me ask you. Is the filling supposed to be more of a creamy texture than a traditional one? Thanks, Tim.

      1. I will make this shortly. I will use 1.5 cans condensed and 200g philli to make the filling more solid

  9. As is the case with all pies, this takes a little time to put together. I made the crust and filling yesterday and finished it off today. Didn’t bake the meringue, just torched it. My guests loved it and I have to say, that filling is the best lemon filling I’ve ever tried and BY FAR the easiest. Great recipe, thank you.

  10. I’ve never made swiss meringue before but have to agree with you, it is the perfect topping for the pie. I always just use normal meringue and it never had quite the right consistency to me. This was thick and luscious. Loved it and the lemon filling is so delicious.