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Lemon Meringue Pie with Condensed Milk

Lemon meringue pie with condensed milk is a slice of sunshine! A creamy and zesty lemon custard filling rests in a buttery pie crust and is topped with a mound of fluffy, toasted meringue. An easy yet impressive dessert!

easy lemon meringue pie

Easy condensed milk lemon meringue pie

My easy condensed milk lemon pie is one of our most loved pies, and several readers have requested a meringue version. So today, I’m so excited to share this recipe for lemon meringue pie with condensed milk!

This pie is a lemon lover’s dream dessert! Each bite is filled with a buttery crust, tart, creamy lemon custard, and sweet, billowy meringue topping. The contrast of the different textures and flavors is just divine!

This dessert is sure to impress, but don’t let the meringue part intimidate you. In this detailed guide, you’ll learn lots of tips and tricks to bake the best lemon meringue pie every time. So let’s make this delicious treat!

For more lemony treats, try our condensed milk lemon bars, lemon chocolate chip cookies, and lemon banana bread!

Reasons to love sweetened condensed milk lemon meringue pie

  • Delicious lemon flavor: The filling is full of zingy, bright lemon flavor without being cloyingly sweet.
  • Smooth filling: The creamy condensed milk lemon filling is firm enough to hold its shape when sliced, but not too thick or gelatinous.
  • Fluffy meringue topping: The cloud-like meringue topping is toasted to perfection and contrasts so nicely with the pie crust and lemon layer.
lemon meringue pie ingredients

Ingredients

I love that this lemon meringue pie with condensed milk doesn’t allow the egg yolks or whites to go to waste. And with just 6 ingredients (pie crust, condensed milk, lemons, eggs, sugar, and vanilla), the recipe couldn’t be much simpler. Please see the recipe card below for exact measurements.

Crust

  • Pie crust: You can prepare this recipe with a homemade pie crust (like my all-butter 3 ingredient pie crust) or a refrigerated pie crust from the store. You’ll need a single crust that can fill a regular or deep-dish pie plate.

Lemon filling

  • Sweetened condensed milk makes the lemon pie filling incredibly creamy and provides sweetness. Be sure to use a 14-oz can of full-fat condensed milk for the best taste and texture.
  • Lemon juice infuses the pie with fresh, zesty flavor and thickens the condensed milk. Please opt for freshly squeezed lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice won’t taste as good.
  • Lemon zest boosts the lemon aroma. If you don’t have a zester, grate the rind with the smallest holes of a cheese grater. Stop once you see the white pith, as it tastes bitter.
  • Egg yolks help to bind and set the filling.

Meringue topping

  • Egg whites are the main component of the meringue. Use the whites you have left over from the yolks.
  • Granulated sugar sweetens the meringue and creates a gorgeous glossy appearance.
  • Lemon juice: A teaspoon of lemon juice helps to stabilize the meringue. The acid in lemon juice prevents the meringue from flattening. Feel free to substitute 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar if you have it available.
  • Vanilla extract gives the meringue a sweet, marshmallow-like flavor.
lemon meringue pie recipe

Before you start

Homemade pies aren’t the easiest dessert. Meringue-topped pies especially can seem a little intimidating, but I promise you can totally do this, even if this is your first time.

To ensure your creamy lemon meringue pie turns out great, please carefully read the following tips. They will set you up for pie success! You can find more info in the tips and troubleshooting sections below.

Humidity

High humidity interferes with the meringue and can cause all sorts of issues. Ideally, bake the pie on a dry day or make sure your kitchen isn’t humid.

What size pie pan do I need?

You can prepare this pie in a regular 9-inch / 23 cm pie plate or a 9-inch / 23 cm deep-dish pie pan. If using a regular pie dish, the lemon filling will go almost to the top.

With a deep-dish pie pan, the lemon mixture will reach about halfway up the pan, and you have a little more wiggle room for the meringue.

The sweetened condensed milk lemon meringue pie you see in the picture was made in a regular pie pan, which worked out perfectly fine for me. In any case, both options are okay.

How many eggs do I need?

You’ll need 4 large eggs. I designed my recipe so that you need 4 egg yolks for the filling and 4 egg whites for the meringue. This way, you won’t end up with any leftover yolks or whites.

Make sure there is no trace of egg yolk in the egg whites. The fat from the yolk diminishes the whites’ ability to whip up properly. Here are some tips on separating eggs:

  1. Eggs are easier to separate when cold.
  2. To separate the yolks from the whites, set out 3 bowls.
  3. Crack the eggs on a flat surface.
  4. Use your thumbs to gently pry the egg halves apart.
  5. Let the yolk settle in one of the eggshells and the white run off the sides into the bowl.
  6. Carefully toggle the yolk between back and forth between the eggshell halves to separate it from the white. Be careful to not break the yolk.
  7. Place the egg yolk into the second bowl. Then empty out the first bowl with the egg white separately. I recommend using the 3-bowl method because if you accidentally break an egg yolk, you aren’t ruining the other egg whites you have separated.
  8. For a visual, check out Jessica Gavin’s easy video on how to separate eggs.

Plan ahead

Lemon meringue pie with condensed milk is a great dessert to prepare ahead of time. It’s actually best to bake the pie the day before and let it chill in the fridge overnight, so the lemon filling has enough time to firm up. On the day off, top your pie with the meringue, toast it, and serve it.

While you could top the pie with the meringue right away, adding the meringue topping the next day is safer. There’s always a chance that the meringue might weep a little bit.

That way, your meringue topping will be nice and staple and easy to slice. Exactly what you want!

creamy lemon meringue pie

How to make lemon meringue pie with condensed milk

This easy lemon meringue pie involves several steps, but they are easy and well worth the effort. Let me walk you through the whole process step-by-step!

step 1 prebake pie crust

1: Prebake the pie crust

  1. Preheat oven. Adjust a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4.
  2. Prepare the crust. Roll out the crust and place it on your pie plate. Trim and crimp the edges as desired. Refrigerate for 20 minutes while you make the filling. Skip this step if using a pre-made crust in a disposable pie tin.
  3. Prebake crust. Line the pie crust with a piece of parchment paper and a piece of tin foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans, evenly distributing them around the pie dish. You need 2 standard sets of pie weights. Prebake the crust for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove the pie weights, tin foil, and parchment paper and bake for another 10 minutes.
step 2 prepare lemon pie filling

2: Prepare the lemon filling

  1. Mix filling. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a large mixing bowl and add the egg yolks and lemon zest. Whisk to combine. Add the lemon juice and whisk vigorously until well combined and you no longer see any liquid. The lemon juice will thicken the condensed milk.
  2. Bake. Pour the lemon filling into the prepared pie crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The lemon pie is done when the edges are set and only slightly jiggly in the center.
  3. Cool & refrigerate. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Once cool, cover the pan and refrigerate until firm for at least 3 hours before serving. 5 to 6 hours or overnight is ideal, but you can chill the pie for up to 2 days.
step 3 mix meringue topping

3: Make the meringue

My method of making lemon meringue pie differs slightly from other recipes. First, we heat the sugar and egg whites in a water bath until the mixture reaches 160°F / 70°C.

The water bath does 2 things: It ensures the sugar dissolves completely. Undissolved sugar crystals are more prone to attract water, which leads to beading and weeping.

Once the mixture reaches 160°F / 70°C on an instant-read thermometer, the egg whites are pasteurized and safe to eat. That means you can enjoy the pie without baking the meringue.

  1. Set up a water bath. Place the egg whites and granulated sugar into a heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with 1 in / 2.5 cm of simmering water. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  2. Dissolve sugar. Whisk continuously and heat until the egg whites have thinned and the sugar has dissolved. The mixture should reach 160°F / 70°F on an instant-read thermometer. If not, continue cooking until the meringue mixture is warm enough.
  3. Whip until fluffy. Remove the meringue from the heat. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice (or cream of tartar). Using a hand mixer, beat the meringue on high speed until white, fluffy, stiff, glossy peaks form for about 5 to 6 minutes.

Tips for making the meringue

Before continuing with the recipe, let’s chat about some tips and tricks that will help your meringue turn out perfect:

  • Separate the eggs carefully: Even the smallest drop of yolk in your egg whites can prevent the meringue from whipping up properly.
  • Clean mixing bowl and beaters: Make sure your mixing bowl and equipment are super clean, dry, and free of fat. Use a metal or glass bowl because plastic bowls tend to hold traces of grease and oil.
  • Mixer: I like a hand mixer as you have more control, but you can also use a stand mixer with the balloon whisk attachment.
  • How to tell the meringue is ready: You can tell the meringue is ready if you pull up the whisk and the peak forms a straight-up point.
  • Don’t overbeat: Stop as soon as the meringue holds a stiff peak when you lift the mixer. Overmixing can lead to a grainy consistency.
step 4 assemble lemon meringue pie

4: Assemble the pie

  1. Garnish. Add the meringue onto the lemon pie filling. Use a spoon or spatula to push the meringue all the way to the pie crust, building a dome in the middle. Use the back of a spoon to create some swirls and peaks for visual interest.
  2. Caramelize meringue. Toast the meringue topping with a kitchen torch to caramelize some of the meringue and give it more definition. Alternatively, pop your pie under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the pie right away.
  3. Serve. Slice the pie into 10 to 12 pieces, and enjoy!
  4. Store. Store leftover pie in the refrigerator and consume within 3 days.

How to cut lemon meringue pie

Cutting lemon meringue pie is a tricky business. Meringue tends to stick to a knife and can tear the gorgeous topping. But I have a couple of tips up my sleeve to cut the perfect slice of meringue pie:

  • Serrated knife: Grab a knife with a serrated blade. Straight-edged knives are more prone to sticking.
  • Score: Before committing to a full cut, score a line where you want to cut a slice with a gentle forth and back motion.
  • Go down: Starting in the center of the pie, cut all the way down and pull the pie towards you. Make sure to get through the bottom crust.
  • Wipe the blade: Wipe your knife with a damp paper towel between each cut for neat, clean slices.
condensed milk lemon meringue pie

Storage instructions

How to store lemon meringue pie with condensed milk

Lemon meringue pie is best eaten as soon as the meringue is put on. Store leftovers in an airtight container, making sure that the cover doesn’t touch the meringue.

You can keep the pie in the fridge for up to 3 days. You may notice some “weeping” of the meringue. This normal, the pie will still taste delicious, but the texture might be slightly different.

Can you freeze lemon meringue pie?

Yes, you can freeze lemon meringue pie but leave off the meringue topping. Unfortunately, meringue doesn’t freeze well and will get a gummy texture.

  • Freeze:  wrap the baked, cooled pie in serval layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Thaw: Let the pie thaw in the fridge overnight. When ready to eat, apply and toast the meringue topping, and serve.
lemon meringue pie using condensed milk

Troubleshooting

Runny filling

Lemon juice and egg yolks are the thickening agents in the filling. When you combine the two, the lemon juice will seize and thicken the condensed milk. And yolks further thicken the filling as the pie bakes in the oven.

A runny filling means you may have mismeasured the ingredients and used too little lemon juice or small egg yolks.

You also want to use full-fat condensed milk, not fat-free or fat-reduced. And be sure to chill your pie properly before serving, as the filling needs time to firm up.

Weeping

Weeping is when liquid pools between the lemon filling and the meringue topping. The liquid is sugar syrup and doesn’t alter the taste, but I know many find it frustrating.

The good news is that weeping only occurs after the pie has set for some time. If you follow my recipe and apply the meringue right before serving, weeping will not be an issue.

Beading

Beading is when tiny droplets of water appear on the surface of the meringue. This happens because moisture from air collects on the pie. This isn’t really an issue in my mind because the pie will still taste delicious.

Beading will also only happen after a while. If you add the meringue and serve the pie right away, you will not experience beading.

old fashioned condensed milk lemon meringue pie

Variations

  • Graham cracker crust: A crunchy graham cracker crust is a delicious alternative to a pastry crust pie shell. Try our graham cracker pie crust recipe to make your own, or grab a ready-made crust at the store.
  • Chocolate wafer crust: Lemon and chocolate are fun pairing and create a beautiful color contrast. Simply follow my graham cracker crust recipe, but replace the graham cracker crumbs with crushed chocolate wafers.
  • Other citrus fruits: Try this recipe with other citrus fruits such as limes, grapefruits, or a mix of different citrus fruits.
  • Whipped cream: If you don’t like meringue, top your lemon pie with fluffy whipped cream. Add 1 1/4 cups cold cream, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla into a cold mixing bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, and spoon over the cooled pie.
slice of lemon meringue pie

More lemon recipes

Lemon is one of my favorite ingredients to bake and cook with. Lemons add lovely zip and zing to desserts and balance the sweetness in recipes. Here are a few to get you started:

Other condensed milk pie recipes

If you love homemade pie and condensed milk, you are in the right place! We have so many pie recipes that you absolutely need to try. There is one for every taste and occasion!

lemon meringue pie with condensed milk

Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe with Condensed Milk

Yield: 10 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 25 minutes

Lemon meringue pie with condensed milk is a slice of sunshine! A creamy and zesty lemon custard filling rests in a buttery pie crust and is topped with a mound of fluffy, toasted meringue. An easy yet impressive dessert!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (store-bought or homemade)

Lemon Filling

  • 14-oz cans / 400 g sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup / 120 ml / 4 fl oz fresh lemon juice (approx. 3 large lemons)
  • 4 large egg yolks (use the white in the meringue below)
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Meringue

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup / 100 g / 3.5 oz granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (or 1/2 tsp cream of tartar)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

    Prebake the pie crust

    1. Preheat oven. Adjust a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4.
    2. Prepare the crust. Roll out the crust and place it on your pie plate. Trim and crimp the edges as desired. Refrigerate for 20 minutes while you make the filling. Skip this step if using a pre-made crust in a disposable pie tin.
    3. Prebake crust. Line the piecrust with a piece of parchment paper and a piece of tin foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans, evenly distributing them around the pie dish. You need 2 standard sets of pie weights. Prebake the crust for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove the pie weights, tin foil, and parchment paper and bake for another 10 minutes.

    Prepare the lemon filling

    1. Mix filling. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a large mixing bowl and add the egg yolks and lemon zest. Whisk to combine. Add the lemon juice and whisk vigorously until well combined and you no longer see any liquid. The lemon juice will thicken the condensed milk.
    2. Bake. Pour the lemon filling into the prepared pie crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The lemon pie is done when the edges are set and only slightly jiggly in the center.
    3. Cool & refrigerate. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Once cool, cover the pan and refrigerate until firm for at least 3 hours before serving. 5 to 6hours or overnight is ideal, but you can chill the pie for up to 2 days.

    Make the meringue

    1. Set up a water bath. Place the egg whites and granulated sugar into a heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with 1 in / 2.5 cm of simmering water. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
    2. Dissolve sugar. Whisk continuously and heat until the egg whites have thinned and the sugar has dissolved. The mixture should reach 160°F / 70°F on an instant-readthermometer. If not, continue cooking until the meringue mixture is warm enough.
    3. Whip until fluffy. Remove the meringue from the heat. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice (or cream of tartar). Using a hand mixer, beat the meringue on high speed until white, fluffy, stiff, glossy peaks form for about 5 to 6 minutes.

    Assemble the pie

    1. Garnish. Add the meringue onto the lemon pie filling. Use a spoon or spatula to push the meringue all the way to the piecrust, building a dome in the middle. Use the back of a spoon to create some swirls and peaks for visual interest.
    2. Caramelize meringue. Toast the meringue topping with a kitchen torch to caramelize some of the meringue and give it more definition. Alternatively, pop your pie under the broiler for 1 to2 minutes. Serve the pie right away.
    3. Serve. Slice the pie into 10 to 12 pieces, and enjoy!
    4. Store. Store leftover pie in the refrigerator and consume within 3 days.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 174mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 8g
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