Lemon Meringue Pie

From Mom and The Joy of Cooking


1 cup sugar

5 tablespoons corn starch

pinch salt

2 cups milk

3 egg yolks

3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

2 teaspoons lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)

1/3 cup lemon juice (approximately 2 lemons)



4 egg whites

6 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar


One pie crust, already baked


Preheat the oven to 350°.

  1. Gradually add the milk. Simmer on the double boiler for 8-10 minutes, or until thickened (almost like pudding). Stir every 2-3 minutes.  Once it’s thickened, cover and cook for 10 more minutes, also stirring every 2-3 minutes
  2. Temper the egg yolks with the hot mixture, and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. (see note below)
  3. While the egg yolk mixture is heating, make the meringue: With an electric mixer, beat the whites, sugar, and cream of tartar to the stiff peak stage, and set aside
  4. When it’s done cooking, remove from the egg yolk mixture from the heat, and mix in the butter, lemon juice, and zest
  5. Pour the hot lemon mixture into baked pie shell. Top with meringue.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the top is browned
  6. Cool to room temperature. Serve either at room temperature, or cooled


Egg yolk tempering: This step is to prevent the egg yolk from cooking immediately when it hits the hot liquid. Instead, slowly add the hot liquid to the egg yolk to gently bring its temperature up. Once all of the hot liquid has been added, continue to the next step.