Aunt Tootsie’s Lemon Meringue Pie

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Lemon Meringue Pie – this recipe is a family favorite! It’s an easy pie recipe with homemade lemon filling and meringue. Everyone loves it! Thanks to Relative Race, I’m sharing this lemon meringue pie recipe with you!

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Aunt Tootsie's Lemon Meringue Pie - this recipe is from my great aunt and it is a family favorite! The lemon is sweet and tart and the pie is perfect lemon lovers!

When I was a kid (and even still) whenever pie is mentioned around my dad, he brings up my Great Aunt Tootsie’s Lemon Meringue Pie. He talks about how the crust was amazing and the filling was so smooth and perfect. His Aunt Tootsie was his mom’s sister, and I honestly don’t remember ever meeting her. I think, between my Nana and Tootsie, that the latter was the baker in the family. My Nana could bake, sure, but meals were her specialty (and her cookies were actually Pillsbury…which I didn’t know until I was an adult).

By the time I was in my early 20’s, both my grandmothers had passed, and with them, their recipes. My mom’s mom didn’t write anything down, but my Nana had a recipe book that my aunt took when she died. A few years ago, she sent me an envelope full of hand written recipes and newspaper clippings that had been shoved in my Nana’s recipe book. One of them was for Lemon Meringue Pie. I decided I had to try to make it, and now I finally have!

I absolutely love old family recipes. I think the ones that are handed down between generations are some of the best, don’t you agree? Food and memory are intertwined so much; just a bite of a meal your grandma used to make can bring back vivid memories; even sights and smells and sounds from the time you used to eat it. That’s what I was hoping to create with this pie recipe, because I’m going to make it for my dad someday.

Toasted meringue for the topping of a lemon meringue pie

Making Lemon Meringue Pie seems like an involved process, and it can be, but it’s worth it.

I would give it a medium on the scale of easy to hard, but this recipe is easy to follow and while it has some moving parts, it’s totally attainable. I’ve talked at length before about how I prefer marshmallow meringue to traditional (and I mean, how can you not love a gooey melty marshmallow?) but I think that’s because I’ve never had a GOOD traditional meringue pie before. THIS meringue is super easy to make and tastes wonderful. It’s not soggy or eggy – it’s the perfect complement to the sweet and tart lemon filling.

One of the ways to make this pie much easier is to use a pre-made crust. I love my all butter crust recipe (it can be frozen, BTW, for later use) but in a pinch or when I’m making an already involved recipe, I’ll start with a premade crust. Make sure to pre-bake and cool it before you start making your recipe. The filling is already cooked and the only reason it’s baked is to set and brown the meringue.

The lemon filling for the lemon meringue pie is an easy lemon curd-like recipe. It’s cooked on the stove, thickened with cornstarch and egg yolks, then strained into the baked pie shell. I always like to strain it because no matter how careful you are when tempering your eggs, some little bits of cooked egg might happen. Straining it takes all those bits out and leaves you with a smooth and silky filling.

The meringue whips up easy with a hand or a stand mixer. Don’t leave out the cream of tartar; it’s important for stabilization. You can find it near the spices in the grocery store, and don’t worry, you’ll use it in my sugar cookies and snickerdoodles, so it won’t go to waste.

Once it’s all assembled (see the video below), you just have to bake it until the meringue on top is all brown and toasty. The hardest part is letting it cool until it sets!

Aunt Tootsie's Lemon Meringue Pie - this recipe is from my great aunt and it is a family favorite! The lemon is sweet and tart and the pie is perfect lemon lovers!

I posted my Aunt Tootsie’s lemon meringue pie recipe because it reminds me of family, just like a new show I’ve fallen in love with watching.

It’s called Relative Race, a competition show where teams race across the country to compete in challenges and find out about unknown family members. The winner wins a cash prize, but the real win is how they get to meet relatives they didn’t know existed along the way. It’s kind of like Amazing Race meets and since I’m currently obsessed with finding out our heritage, it’s right up my alley. You can watch Relative Race on BYUtv, online or on any of their apps for phones, tablets, Amazon, and Roku.

I hope you enjoy this pie as much as my family has, and that it becomes part of your family tradition too.

Tips for making the best lemon meringue pie:

  1. Don’t forget to temper your eggs. This is done by pouring a bit of the hot lemon mixture into the eggs while whisking, then pouring the eggs into the rest of the lemon mixture. It’s done so the eggs come to temperature slowly (otherwise you get scrambled eggs).
  2. Straining ensures that your curd has no egg bits or other lumps.
  3. To reduce the risk of weeping meringue, make sure that the meringue touches the crust on all edges.

Items used making this pie:

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Aunt Tootsie's Lemon Meringue Pie

Aunt Tootsie’s Lemon Meringue Pie – this recipe is a family favorite! It’s an easy pie recipe with homemade lemon filling and meringue. Everyone loves it!


For the filling:

  • 1 recipe All Butter Pie Crust, pre-baked and cooled (or a pre-made crust from a pack of two or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs yolks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the meringue:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  1. Make sure your pie crust is baked and cooled in an 8-9″ pie plate.
  2. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  3. Whisk water, sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until it’s thick and bubbly.
  4. Place egg yolks into a medium sized bowl. Whisk them gently. Once the lemon mixture is thick and bubbly, carefully pour about half the lemon mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then place the egg mixture back into the pan with the remaining lemon mixture, continuing to whisk. You want to avoid scrambling the eggs. Bring to a gentle boil, then cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until melted.
  5. Pour mixture into the prepared pie crust. (If so inclined, strain it into the pie through a mesh strainer to remove any egg bits.) Cover with plastic wrap while you prepare the meringue.
  6. Place egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or you can use a large bowl with a hand mixer). Beat on high speed until soft peaks form (if you remove the beaters the tips curl slightly) and then continue mixing while gradually adding the granulated sugar. Continue mixing until stiff peaks form (they’ll be glossy and stand straight).
  7. Spread the meringue on the top of the lemon mixture in decorative peaks, being sure that the meringue touches the crust and no lemon shows through. Bake about 30 minutes or until the meringue is browned. Cool at room temperature for one hour, then chill at least 5 hours before slicing.
  8. The pie will last a day or two in the refrigerator but tastes better day one.


**Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!**

Nutrition Information

Yield: 10-12 servings, Serving Size: 1 slice

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 331
  • Total Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 83mg
  • Sodium: 48mg
  • Carbohydrates: 56g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 46g
  • Protein: 7g

Recipe from my Great Aunt Tootsie.

All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Click here to see the complete list of Lemon Recipes!

See more of my ultimate pie recipes here!

Check out some of my other favorite lemon recipes:

Lemon Meringue Pie Bars

Lemon Meringue Pie Fudge

Mini Lemon Chess Pies

**Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!**

This post has been sponsored by BYUtv and Relative Race. All opinions are 100% my own.

Aunt Tootsie's Lemon Meringue Pie - this recipe is from my great aunt and it is a family favorite! The lemon is sweet and tart and the pie is perfect lemon lovers!

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  1. The pie sounds really good. Family recipes are always the best.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Family recipes like this are absolutely priceless. I am so happy you were able to get a hold of this. Lemon meringue pie also reminds me of Amelia Bedelia, which is a book we read at bedtime yesterday. 🙂

  3. You are the queen of lemon desserts – and pie – and this pie is epic! Wow. That thick layer of meringue and a filling that I can almost taste through the screen. What a lovely tribute post too about family, food, memories, and I too wish my grandma’s recipes were written down!

  4. Great family recipe. It looks great.

  5. It’s one of my favorite desserts! Can’t wait to try it! And let me know what you find out about your Mom’s family.

  6. Such a beautiful post Dorothy! I love the special stories about some of your recipes . I’m thrilled to try this recipe for my next gathering … I love lemon!

  7. hey girl- this looks amazing! I love lemon stuff!

  8. Love lemon pie but haven’t done one from scratch. However, I love to make cream pies, so instead of meringue, I folded 3/4 c heavy whipped cream and topped with same after cooling. Very nice.

  9. Are we related? My Grandma, also Tootsie, was famous for her Lemon Meringue Pie…Oh wait…store bought crust…not on her life….must be some other Tootsie.

  10. I’ve read recipe twice …still confused!! I made the All Butter Pie Crust in above text…..Do I bake or NOT before filling. No directions for pre-baking crust!! Crust recipe says chill until filling AND Lemon Meringue recipe says….#1 Make sure pie crust is baked!!! Which is it?

    • You pre-bake the crust according to the directions in the all butter pie crust recipe. You can also use a premade crust (i.e. Pillsbury) and follow the directions on the box to pre-bake it.

  11. I will definitely use a deep dish crust next time. Also thought it was too much meringue. In the oven now. Looks delicious I have to say!

  12. Gotcha try this it! 🙂 🙂

  13. My in-law Aunt lived in Vermont. She had several recipes I wanted but she passed before I got them. My sister lives in a small town in Montana.She loves collecting cookbooks. I was going through some of her cookbooks and found one from a church in Vermont. I recognized the name and knew my Aunt went to church there. Sure enough !! I found her favorite recipes in this cookbook. My sister had no idea this was her church etc. I made her apple pie recipe and got first place at the county Fair. I now have her recipes !!

  14. Thought you might like my story !!

  15. Good recipe, but too sweet! Will reduce sugar next time. Also, a little too loose- will increase cornstarch next time. First time making merengue- It turned out great!

  16. I can’t wait to try this! Lemon Meringue Pie is a family favorite for us too. My grandpa and I would always fight over the last piece. Seeing this pie made me think of my grandpa and how much I miss him. That’s why I love food. Food symbolizes so much more than just the actual food itself. It brings back memories and joins us all together. Thank you for giving me an excuse to remember my grandpa today.

  17. This was delicious! Made the crust recipe and it was perfect!

    Rating: 5
  18. It’s just like my moms lemon 🍋 meringue pie ❤️ . Thanks for sharing this! 

    Rating: 5
  19. Great pie! Gigantic hit! Something different for Thanksgiving….

    Rating: 5
  20. Hi! I was thinking of making this pie for my moms boyfriend because he ate lemon meringue pie on his birthday when he was a child and he does not like cake…anyway, I was wondering if I could you a metal 9 inch cake pan instead of a glass pie dish? It is round but I as wondering if I would have to coat it with baking spray or do something drastically different? Thank you!

  21. I haven’t made a lemon meringue pie for years. I was asked to make one for Thanksgiving and found your recipe. The all-butter pie crust worked perfectly! It was supple, easy to work with, and kept its shape when pre-baked. The filling was delicious-sweet and tart and the vanilla in the meringue gave it lots of flavor. Thank you for the pictures that made it easy to follow.

    Rating: 5
  22. This pie was a hit with my family! It was perfect… a good balance of tart and sweet, very flavorful, and not too complicated to make. This is a keeper! Thanks!

  23. Hi great recipe tasted amazing, the only problem i had was too loose; once i re- did it and added more cornstarch we had a hit so thank you.

    Rating: 3
  24. I made the recipe for Thanksgiving. It was a BIG hit!!!! Everybody loved it. It was the first pie that was gone!!! It was so so yummy and deliciously amazing!!!!! Thank you for sharing the recipe. #thebestpieever

    Rating: 5
  25. My crust made exactly like your recipe:1st time the crust was almost unchewable. I think I baked it too long. The second time I made it it was kind of chewy and soft. I do not know what I did wrong to get this result.

  26. It tasted great but very watery.  It lost all its gel.  i love lemon meringue pie and want to try it again.  i never have a problem.  Where did I go wrong!!

  27. Delish and not so difficult. My first ever ! Thank you!

  28. Wow! What a great recipe.When In was young my favorite “Birthday” cake was a lemon meringue pie. My Mother used to say, rolling her eyes, “I suppose you want a lemon meringue pie for your birtthday.?” Well, in our house that meant one for me and another for the rest of the family. My Mother,ra d God Bless her was in for a time in the kitchen making two pies from scratch. My Dad usually was the crust baker and would always make a little extra dough to make little cinnamon rolls with butter and cinnamon rolled into quarter size pieces and baked until crispy. It was a double treat day for all of us..Loved this recipe and it brought bake such great memories..Thanks so much.

  29. Best lemon meringue pie ever!

  30. This is a 5 star for sure, love the flavor and easy to make! It’s going in my receipt book!

    Rating: 5
  31. Easy recipe great results THANKS

  32. I made it for New Years Eve. It was great.

    Rating: 5
  33. This was the easiest and most delicious lemon meringue pie I’ve ever made. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe

  34. Excellent pie – 5 star or better! It was easy to make and beautiful.

  35. Amazing SUPER BOWL hit!! The kids even ate some. The last piece was fought over and eaten out of the plate. The ultimate compliment.
    I appreciated the suggestion to double the meringue.  It was fabulous looking and tasted great.

    Rating: 5
  36. Do you have to temper the egg yolks?

    I can’t wait to try this!

  37. Delicious recipe.  I love the taste just perfect.  I think I put too much water on the mixture. I will try to make it again with less water!  Thanks.

    Rating: 5
  38. I sampled what was left in the sauce pan and I love it. Please know that when I have a serving of this pie I do not wish to be disturbed, but remain in solitude savoring each fork full.

    Rating: 5
  39. The best lemon cream part! I do not have access to a ready make pie crusts so am searching for that recipe as well. 6 stars for this one!!!

    Rating: 5
  40. After searching forever for a GOOD recipe for lemon meringue pie, I found yours. I made this with my grandson and it is, the very best ever!

    Rating: 5
  41. I made your lemon meringue pie. Have not eaten any yet, but it looks great. Only thing – it takes a long time to make!

  42. I loved this. I changed the ratio of water and lemon juice to 1 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup lemon juice. This gave it the stronger lemon flavor I really want in a lemon pie. Very good!

    Rating: 5
  43. I loved this. I changed the ratio of water and lemon juice to 1 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup lemon juice. This gave it the stronger lemon flavor I really want in a lemon pie. Very good!

    Rating: 5
  44. If you follow the directions AND video it is fool-proof.  Have to cook the lemon base long and low enough to thicken (as video shows)… And temper the yolks in properly (I strained it but didn’t really need to).  This is BAKING… Not cooking.  Measurements NEED To be made (home ec 101 for dry ingredients = level measuring spoon, wet ingredients in cup, and ZERO yolk if you want good meringue….also, make meringue ahead of time and smooth over hot filing making sure meringue touches crust all the way around to hold it in place…and putting the egg white meringue on the hot filling helps begin the setting process.).  Just follow the directions….if you alter ingredients in baking you risk messing with the science behind baking.  This said, this pie was PERFECT.  SILKY, MERINGUE FLUFFY AND THE RIGHT RATIO OF MERINGUE TO FILLING.  This is a multi-step recipe that requires advance prep…it gets a few dishes dirty…it is time consuming, but it is old school baking and produces a classic beautiful pie.  Thank you for sharing Aunt Tootsies recipe….it is worthy of respect and adherence to stated ingredients.  (Some lemons are tarter than others and tastes vary….be sure to utilize the correct quantities of zest as that really enhanced the recipe and during the cooking process of the lemon curd you could see evidence of the zest oils on the surface of the liquid). Sublime!! 

    Rating: 5
  45. Very nice! I normally don’t like the crusts on Lemon Meringues, but this is one delicious exception. In the oven right now, and has the house smelling fantastic. Great recipe!

    Rating: 5
  46. Great recipe I use coconut oil instead of butter – it works very well

    Rating: 5

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