Lemon Meringue Pie is bright, vibrant, and perfect for Spring. You will love the zesty, sweet lemon filling, and the flaky, buttery homemade crust. And of course, the billowy toasted meringue topping piled high.
Cut the butter into cubes and keep in the fridge or freezer while you measure the other ingredients.
Add the flour, salt, and powdered sugar to a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor.
Cut in the cold, cubed butter using a pastry blender or by pulsing it in the food processor until all of the flour is coated.
Add the ice water and lemon juice and continue to blend until a dough forms.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before using.
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Roll the dough out and place it in a 9″ shallow pie dish. Cover with aluminum foil and add pie weights or dried beans.
Blind bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Remove the weights and the aluminum foil and continue to bake for another 5 minutes or until the bottom of the crust is beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool while you make the rest of the components.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Separate the eggs:
Carefully separate your eggs while they are cold. Whisk the yolks in a medium bowl and set aside. Place the egg whites in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. When you make the meringue the whites are going to whip up to 8 x their original volume, so make sure you put them in a large enough bowl to accommodate that. Make sure there is absolutely no trace of egg yolk in with the egg whites. If you accidentally get some yolk in the egg whites when you are separating them, use a piece of eggshell to scoop it out. Keep the egg whites out on the counter to come to room temperature while you make the filling.
Make the Lemon Filling:
In a medium saucepan, heat the cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice, water, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then simmer until it becomes very thick.
Temper the egg yolks: While whisking the egg yolks constantly, very carefully, and in a slow and steady stream, pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks. Do this very carefully and make sure you are whisking constantly so the yolks don't curdle. Once most or all of the warm liquid is added you can add everything back into the saucepan. It should be thick and smooth. Add the butter and whisk over low heat until it melts. Remove from heat and set aside while you make the meringue.
For the Meringue Topping:
Add the cream of tartar and salt to the bowl with the egg whites. Use a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a hand-held mixer and mix on medium-high speed until peaks start to form. Add in the sugar and continue to mix until stiff peaks form.
Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust. Spread the meringue over the top, going all the way to the edges of the pie crust.
Bake for 25 minutes. The meringue should be nicely browned.
Remove from the oven and allow the pie to cool completely before slicing. At least 3 hours. If you slice into it too soon the filling won't have had time to set and you won't get a clean slice out.