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Traditional Lemon Meringue Pie


This is my favorite lemon meringue pie. It’s a very tangy, refreshing dessert.

Makes 1 (9-9.5 inch) pie.



  • 1 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable shortening
  • 3 Tbsp cold butter
  • 5 Tbsp ice water


  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 c fresh lemon juice (about 2 large or 4 small lemons)
  • 1 2/3 c water
  • 1 1/3 c sugar
  • 5 Tbsp corn starch
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 Tbsp butter


  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar.
  3. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the shortening and cold butter until the mixture has small  bits of fat throughout.
  4. Add the ice water a little at a time, using a butter knife to blend it just until the dough comes together into a ball. (You may not need all of the water.) Do not over-handle or knead.
  5. Wrap dough ball in wax paper, place in a covered container, and refrigerate 1 hour.
  6. Roll dough out on lightly floured wax paper. Place in a 9 or 9.5 inch pie plate. Crimp edges.
  7. Place a sheet of parchment or tin foil on top of the pie shell; weigh it down with a cup of dry beans or barley, so the crust will not bubble up in the oven. (Save these dry beans/barley grains for the next time you are blind baking.)
  8. Bake 10 minutes. Lower temperature to 300 degrees F. Remove the parchment/foil and weights; bake 15 minutes more unweighted.


  1. In a large saucepan, mix the lemon zest, juice, water, sugar, and corn starch.
  2. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from burner. If it is not completely smooth, pass it through a sieve.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until light yellow. Add half of the hot lemon mixture, whisking briskly. Put the egg yolk mixture back in the saucepan. Cook on low 2 minutes or until bubbly, stiring constantly.
  4. Remove from burner and stir in the butter. Pour filling into the baked pie shell.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
  3. Spread meringue on pie, being sure that it comes in contact with the pie shell all around. (This avoids shrinkage.)
  4. Swirl the meringue a bit to make a pretty top.
  5. Bake 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  6. Cool 1 hour, then chill in refrigerator for at least 5 hours. Serve chilled.

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