Mattie’s Lemon Meringue Pie

How to Make Lemon Meringue pie

A pre baked pie shell if filled with a hot lemon filling then piled high with home made meringue. The meringue is broiled to brown.  Serve pie chilled for best results and store in refrigerator.  This recipe is from my Aunt Mattie Hartung who lived in Henderson Kentucky for many years.


Units Scale

19” pre baked pie shell

Meringue Ingredients:

3 egg whites *, room temperature

6 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


11/3 cups sugar

6 tablespoons corn starch

1/4 teaspoon salt

13/4 cup boiling water

3 egg yolks * (used egg whites for meringue)

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons lemon zest + 2 drops lemon food coloring gel


Make pie crust or purchase frozen pie shell and bake as directed.  Cool completely.

Make Meringue for Pie First:  Beat room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy.  Beat in sugar, a tablespoon at a time until whites are stiff and glossy. Beat in vanilla.  Set aside while making filling.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lemon Filling:   In medium saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, salt and boiling water. Stir to combine until smooth.  Cook over medium heat, stir constantly until mixture boils and thickens.  Boil and stir one minute.

Take 1 cup of hot mixture out of saucepan and in second cup beat egg yolks.  Mix yolks with 1 cup of hot mixture until blended.  Pour egg mixture into hot liquid stirring constantly.  Boil 1 minute.

Remove from heat, add butter, lemon juice, zest and coloring.  Pour HOT Filling into baked pie shell.  Spoon meringue on top of HOT FILLING. Spread over filling carefully sealing meringue to the edge of the crust to prevent shrinking and weeping( watery meringue).

Bake pie in 400 degree oven until meringue is delicately brown, about 10 minutes.

Cool away from drafts.


Tips:  Cream of tartar will help stabilize the egg whites so they will be firm when whipped.

Spooning the Meringue over the Hot filling is important for the meringue to seal the pie filling.  It also helps cook the meringue.  Pushing the meringue to the edges of the crust will seal the meringue and prevent watery meringue.  The meringue will also not shrink or pull away from the sides of the pie crust.

  • In a hurry, bring eggs to room temperature fast by placing them in a small bowl of warm water.  Replace cooled water with warm water until eggs feel warm to touch.