Light, marshmallowy meringue piled high on a creamy filling of lemon curd is the basis of this classic showstopper of a pie. When making the lemon curd, be sure to save the whites that you separate from the egg yolks; you will need them to make the meringue topping in the following step.
Lemon Curd Meringue Pie
- 1 batch basic pie dough, rolled into a 12-inch (30-cm) round
For the lemon curd:
- 5 eggs plus 7 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g) sugar
- 1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, diced
For the meringue:
- 5 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Transfer the pie dough into a 9-inch (23-cm) pie dish and gently press into the dish. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) overhang. Fold under the excess dough and, using your thumb and fingers, decoratively flute the edges. Using a fork, gently poke holes in several places on the bottom of the crust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Line the piecrust with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven; leave the oven on. Let the piecrust cool completely, then remove the pie weights and parchment. Return to the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
4. To make the lemon curd, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the lemon curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Stir in the butter a few pieces at a time, stirring until the butter is thoroughly incorporated before adding more. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
5. Pour the lemon curd into the cooled crust, spreading it evenly. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the lemon curd, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
6. To make the meringue, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat on medium speed until foamy, about 2 minutes. Raise the speed to medium-high and slowly add the sugar. Beat until soft peaks form and the egg whites are shiny and glossy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat until the egg whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks, about 1 minute longer.
7. Preheat a broiler to high.
8. Pipe or spread the meringue over the lemon curd filling so that it completely covers the pie. Place the pie under the broiler until the meringue is lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight before serving. Serves 8 to 10.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen