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The Ultimate Lemon Meringue

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Makes one 9” pie.

1-1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ Teaspoon Table Salt
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cold, cut into ¼” slices
1/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening, cold, cut into two pieces
2 Tablespoons Vodka, cold
2 Tablespoons Water, cold

Lemon Curd Filling:
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
¼ Cup Cornstarch
¼ Teaspoon Table Salt
1-1/2 Cups Water, cold
6 Large Egg Yolks
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest from 1 Lemon
½ Cup Lemon Juice from 2 to 3 Lemons
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
½ Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
8 Large Egg Whites
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract


  • In food processor, process ¾ cup flour, salt and sugar until combined, about two 1-second pulses.

  • Add butter and shortening and process until dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 10 seconds (Dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining.)

  • Scrape processor bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around the processor blade.

  • Add remaining ½ cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses.

  • Empty mixture into a medium bowl.

  • Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture.

  • With rubber spatula, use quick folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until it is slightly tacky and sticks together.

  • Flatten dough into a 4-inch disk.

  • Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

  • Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 400 degrees.

  • Remove dough from refrigerator and press with fingers into a 9” pie pan, forming bottom, sides and fluted rim.

  • Refrigerate 15 minutes.

  • Remove crust from refrigerator and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Lemon Curd Filling:

  • Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and water in a large, nonreactive saucepan.

  • Bring mixture to simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally at beginning of the process and more frequently as mixture begins to thicken.

  • When mixture starts to simmer and turn translucent, whisk in egg yolks, two at a time. Whisk in zest, then lemon juice, and finally butter.

  • Bring mixture to a brisk simmer, whisking constantly.

  • Remove from heat, place plastic wrap directly on surface of filling to keep hot and prevent skin from forming.


  • Mix cornstarch with 2/3 cup water in small saucepan; bring to simmer, whisking occasionally at beginning and more frequently as mixture thickens. When mixture starts to simmer and turn translucent, remove from heat.

  • Let lemon curd cool while beating egg whites.

  • Beat the egg whites and add vanilla.

  • Heat oven to 325 degrees.

  • Mix cream of tartar and sugar together.

  • Beat egg whites and vanilla until frothy.

  • Beat in sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time; until sugar is incorporated and mixture forms soft peaks.

  • Add cornstarch mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue to beat meringue to stiff peaks.

  • Remove plastic from lemon curd filling and return to very low heat during last minute or so of beating meringue (to ensure filling is hot).

  • Pour lemon curd filling into pie shell.

  • Using a rubber spatula, immediately distribute meringue evenly around edge then center of pie to keep it from sinking into filling. Make sure meringue attaches to pie crust to prevent shrinking. Use spoon to create peaks all over meringue.

  • Put pie in 325 degree oven and bake on lowest rack until meringue is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

  • Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature. Serve.

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The Ultimate Lemon Meringue Pie
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