Easy Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe – this single serving pie has a big fluffy toasted meringue topping, a perfectly balanced sweet and tart lemon filling and a crisp graham cracker crust. Baked in a ramekin it’s the perfect size for anyone cooking for one.
Lemon meringue pies have always been one my favorite pies. The bright, sunny color screams springtime and the wonderful sweet/tart taste makes it a dessert I can’t ever refuse.
Since coming home from California last month, I’ve been craving all kinds of lemony desserts. The lemons in California were enormous and I couldn’t wait to start working on new lemon recipes. This lovely single serving lemon meringue pie recipe is my latest lemon creation and I think you’ll absolutely love it.
I firmly believe that even though you might be cooking for one, you should never deny yourself the foods and desserts you crave and love. If you love lemon meringue pie (as I do), you might have hesitated to make one because you didn’t want to be eating pie for days. With this single serving lemon meringue pie recipe, you don’t have to worry. This pretty little pie is perfect if you’re cooking for one.
Easy Lemon Meringue Pie
This luscious mini pie is a scaled down version of the lemon meringue pies I’ve made for years for my family. I’ve used the same ingredients and made pie the same exact way, just with smaller ingredient amounts.
This lovely pie has a toasted meringue topping, a perfectly balanced sweet and tart lemon filling, and a crisp, buttery graham cracker crust.
I used a graham cracker crust in this recipe for lemon meringue pie because graham cracker crusts are so simple to make. There’s no making and rolling of pie dough. Just crush the graham crackers, add a little melted butter and a touch of sugar and you’ve got a wonderful crust for your pie.
Ingredients In Lemon Meringue Pie
See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.
- egg yolk
- lemon juice
- lemon zest
- egg white
- cream of tartar
- graham crackers
See below for ways to use leftover ingredients.
How To Make Lemon Meringue Pie
- Make The Pie Crust: You first start out by making the simple graham cracker crust. Crush two large sheets of graham crackers and put them in a small bowl. Stir in a touch of sugar and melted butter and press the graham cracker mixture into a small oven-safe ramekin or baking dish. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
- Make The Lemon Filling: While the crust is baking, make the lemon filling by whisking together 3 tablespoons of sugar, one tablespoon of cornstarch, and 1/3 cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Let the mixture simmer for a minute or two until the mixture begins to thicken.
- Once the cornstarch mixture has thickened up well, take a spoonful of the cornstarch mixture and whisk it into a beaten egg yolk to temper the yolk. Continue to whisk in spoonfuls of the cornstarch mixture until you’ve used up about half of the mixture.
- Add the egg yolk mixture back into the pot with the remainder of the cornstarch mixture and bring it to a boil, on medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1/2 tablespoon of butter, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest (finely grated lemon peel). Pour the filling over the pie crust and quickly prepare the meringue topping.
- Make The Topping: Beat egg white and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar until stiff and glossy. Spoon the meringue onto the top of the hot lemon filling and use the back of a spoon to swirl the meringue. Make sure the meringue is completely covering the filling and that there are no gaps, this will prevent the meringue from “shrinking”.
- Bake until lightly golden brown, 10-12 minutes.
- Cool away from draft for 1 hour.
The pie can be kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it.
The Secret To A Perfect Meringue
The perfect meringue is magical. It should be light, fluffy, perfectly sweet and stiff. To make the perfect meringue, keep these key tips in mind:
- Make sure your bowl and whisk or beaters are absolutely clean.
- For very best results, egg whites should be at room temperature before whipping. Although cold eggs are easier to separate, room temperature egg whites whip up faster.
- Make sure no egg yolk gets into the white, this will prevent the egg white from whipping up.
- Add in the sugar slowly to make sure it completely dissolves.
Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients
If you have any ingredients left over from this lemon meringue pie recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:
What Size Baking Dish Should I Use For A Single Serving Lemon Meringue Pie?
For this Lemon Meringue Pie For One, I used a 4-inch round ramekin that holds a volume of 8-ounces (237 milliliters) and it was the perfect size. For best results, use a dish of similar size.
I also experimented with the 5-inch square baking dish that I use in so many of our recipes and although it worked, the lemon layer was thin. Still a delicious pie, I just prefer a thicker layer of lemon filling.
For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.
Other Single Serving Pie Recipes
Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe
FOR THE CRUST
- 2 sheets graham crackers (1/2 cup crushed graham crackers)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter , melted
FOR THE FILLING
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
FOR THE MERINGUE
- 1 egg white
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
TO MAKE THE CRUST
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
- Crush graham crackers by placing them in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to break up the crackers and then process continuously until the crackers are crushed into fine crumbs. Alternatively, place the crackers in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin until broken into fine crumbs. Pour graham cracker crumbs into a small bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter.
- Butter or spray the bottom and sides of a 4-inch ramekin or baking dish of similar size with oil spray and pour the crumbs into the dish. Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, press the crumbs gently so they form a crust on the bottom.
- Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside.
TO MAKE THE FILLING
- Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- In a 1-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Boil and stir 1 minute.
- Stir 1 to 2 spoonfuls of hot mixture into egg yolk to temper the yolk; stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir constantly for 2 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Pour over pie crust.
TO MAKE THE MERINGUE
- Beat egg white and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high speed until foamy.
- Beat in sugar, 1/2 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy.
- Spoon onto pie filling. Spread evenly over filling, carefully sealing meringue to edge of crust to prevent “shrinking”.
- Bake until lightly golden brown, 10-12 minutes.
- Cool away from draft for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate cooled pie until serving. Store in refrigerator.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionists’ advice.
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