Mile high lemon meringue pie is a delicious dessert with an impressively fluffy meringue topping. The lemon filling is the perfect blend of tart and sweet with it’s delicious lemon flavor and silky texture.
This lemon pie boasts an impressively fluffy and tall meringue. It’s a classic meringue that sweetly pairs with the lemon filling. For the base of the pie, you can use a standard 9 inch single crust pie dough. To save on time, you can certainly buy a pre-made frozen pie crust. The pie dough should be chilled. The crust is first blind baked and cooled before the filling is added.
Lemon meringue pie is a family favorite. I find it perfect for so many occasions including beating the mid-winter blues, Easter and more. There is nothing better than a homemade lemon meringue pie. It has far more flavor and is a crowd pleaser.
Pies are one of my favorite desserts. There are a few classics worth mastering and this mile high lemon meringue pie is one of them. You may also like my old fashioned banana cream pie, or coconut cream pie, or key lime pie. All are massively delicious and terrific for family gatherings.
What you’ll need
- 9 inch single crust chilled pie dough, if frozen defrost and chill
- sugar (2 1/4 cups)
- lemon juice (1 cup, about 5-6 lemons)
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 8 eggs (separated – 8 yolks, 4 whites)
- unsalted butter (4 tbsp)
- cream of tartar
- vanilla extract
I hope you enjoy this deliciously sweet, yet tart mile high lemon meringue pie. This recipe is moderate to difficult in skill level. I recommend reading through the whole recipe before you start to familiarize yourself with all the steps. Make sure all ingredients are pre-measured and in place before beginning (mise en place). Please leave a comment below.
Mile high lemon meringue pie
- 1 single crust pie dough
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup lemon juice about 5-6 lemons
- 2 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 large egg yolks
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preparing the crust
- Prepare a single crust pie dough on 9 inch pie plate. Or use a pre-made frozen 9 inch pie crust. Defrost and chill.
- Adjust the oven rack to the center/middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Line the chilled pie dough with with aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights. Bake the crust for 25 – 30 minutes. It should be dry and light in color. Carefully remove the weights and the foil. Bake an additional 10 minutes uncovered or until it is a golden brown. Allow the crust to completely cool on a wire rack.
- Use a large heavy bottomed sauce pan. Whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, water, cornstarch and salt. Bring this to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk occasionally so that the mixture becomes translucent and thickens. This should take about 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the egg yolks. Next, stir in the lemon zest and butter. Bring it to a simmer and stir constantly. You do not want the temperature to get too high. Stir until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. It should take about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Use a fine mesh strainer and strain the filling into the cooled pie crust. Scrape off the underside of the strainer. This helps remove any bits and the lemon zest. Cover the pie with plastic wrap (on the surface of the filling) and refrigerate until it is set and chilled. It should chill for 2 hours minimum.
- Make sure the oven rack is in the middle/center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Ready a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Set egg whites, salt and cream of tartar ready to the side. Make sure your mixing bowl is wiped clean of any grease.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook this sugar mixture about 4 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
- Whip the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Then add salt, cream of tartar and whip. Gradually increase the speed to medium-high. Whip until soft peaks form (approximately 2 minutes).
- With the mixer running on medium-high, slowly pour the hot syrup onto the whites. Aim for the edge of the bowl avoiding the whisk. Add the syrup in a slow steady stream.
- Add the vanilla. Whip the meringue until it cools and becomes thick and shiny. This takes about 5 minutes.
- Mound the meringue over the chilled pie filling. The meringue should cover and touch the edges of the pie crust. Use a rubber spatula to create swirls and peaks all over the meringue.
- Bake in the oven until the peaks turn a slight golden brown. It should take about 5 minutes. Allow the pie to cool on a rack to room temperature and serve.