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Lemon Meringue Pie with Citrus Spiced Sugar Cookie Crust

  • Author: Joy the Baker adapted slightly from pie queen Erin McDowell
  • Yield: 1 9-inch pie 1x


A bright and beautiful lemon meringue pie made perfect for fall with a spiced citrus cookie crust. 



For the Spiced Sugar Cookie Crust:

  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces, 113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 large egg white, lightly whisked (35g)
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) baking powder

For the Lemon Filling:

  • 1 cup (198g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (28g) cornstarch
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces, 113g) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup (302g) fresh lemon juice, about 7 lemons
  • 10 large egg yolks (213g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) fine sea salt

For the Mile-High Meringue:

  • 4 large egg whites (142g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) cream of tartar
  • 1 cup (198g) granulated sugar
  • large pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) vanilla extract


  1. Start by making the crust. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, zest and spices on medium-low speed for 2-3 minutes.  Add the egg white and mix to combine.  Scrape the bowl well, add the flour, salt and baking powder and mix on low speed until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. 
  2. Form the dough into a 1-inch thick disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to 3 days). Allow the dough to sit on the counter for 5 minutes before rolling if you leave the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper. Place the disk on the parchment paper, flour the top and add another piece of  parchment paper. Roll to a 1/4-inch thick round, peeling up the parchment paper to reflour and smooth any paper wrinkles.  Remove the top piece of parchment and invert the pie crust into a 9-inch pie dish.  
  4. Trim or fold under the excess crust and create any sort of crimp or cutout decorative edge.  Dock the pie crust, that is- prick with a fork all over the bottom and sides of the crust. Refrigerate or freeze for at least 30 minutes. The colder the better.  
  5. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the pie crust with lightly greased parchment paper and fill to the brim with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust with pie weights for 12 minutes. Remove the pie weights and continue cooking for 10 minutes more, until golden brown. Allow the pie crust to cool to room temperature before filling 
  6. To make the filling, in a small bowl whisk together sugar and cornstarch.  In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the sugar mixture along with the lemon juice, eggs yolks, and salt.  Cook, whisking constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. 
  7. Continue to cook, stirring constantly with a spatula, scraping along the edges until the curd thickens and comes to a boil (look for fat bubbles in the center), 2 to 3 minutes more.  
  8. Strain the curd into the cooled pie crust and spread into an even layer.  Cover with plastic wrap placed directly against the surface of the filling and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours (or up to 24 hours). You can transfer to a bowl instead if you haven’t rolled your pie crust yet. Cover just the same.
  9. Make the meringue just before serving the pie. To make the meringue, bring a medium pot filled with about two inches of water to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Set a medium bowl over the pot, add all of the ingredients, and whisk to combine.  
  10. Heat, whisking constantly until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F (71 degrees C) on a thermometer. 
  11. Remove the bowl from the heat and transfer the heated mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  (Or use an electric hand beater in the same bowl.) Whip the mixture on medium-high speed until it reached medium peaks, about 5 minutes.  
  12. Pile the meringue on top of the cooled pie or transfer to a piping bags fitted with large and small star tips.  Pipe onto chilled pie and  toast with a kitchen torch.  Serve chilled and enjoy! Store any leftovers loosely covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. The meringue will deteriorate after a day or two in the fridge but it will still be delicious! 


Pie crust and filling can be made up to 2 days ahead. The day you’d like to serve the pie, fill the baked pie crust, allow to rest in the  refrigerator for at least two hours. Just before serving make meringue and top and toast the pie.