Little Lemon Meringue Pies

Nuvita Biscuits
Make these adorable individually sized pies in muffin tins for easy portioning. Fill each one with tart lemon custard and a dollop of meringue.
These whimsical pies are elegant and perfectly-textured — they’ve got a buttery, crisp-tender crust that’ll stand up to tangy-creamy curd, and the meringue holds its shape even overnight!

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch fine salt
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sour cream or yogurt

Lemon Filling:

1/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed


1/4 cup egg whites (about 2 large eggs)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch fine salt
1 (6-cup) standard non-stick muffin tin


Beat the butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high until smooth. Add the sugar and salt and continue to beat until evenly combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the egg yolk. Add half of the flour, beating until just crumbly. Scrape down the bowl again; add the remaining flour and then the sour cream or yogurt, beating just until the dough is evenly moistened. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly to bring it together.

Roll the dough between 2 generously floured sheets of waxed or parchment paper into a circle about 1/4-inch thick with a rolling pin. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cut out 6 (4 1/2-inch) rounds using an inverted bowl or round cookie cutter. Place rounds in the muffin tins and, using a small shot glass or your fingers, press into the corners and about halfway up the sides for a snug fit (see photo). Freeze dough in the muffin tin for 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Spray the outside of 6 standard muffin liners with cooking spray and place in the crusts. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crusts until just brown around the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for about 1 minute; then carefully remove the muffin liners and baking beans. Return pan to the oven and continue to bake until crusts are cooked through and evenly browned (see photo), about 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool slightly. Then carefully remove crusts from the muffin tin and cool completely on a rack.

Lemon Filling:

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and yolks in a nonreactive saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture is smooth and sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Add the lemon and lime juice and zest and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is as thick as sour cream and is just about to simmer, 3 to 4 minutes. (Take care to stir into the sides of the pot so that all curd thickens evenly.)

Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Whisk in the butter a little at a time, until smooth. Stir occasionally until cooled. (Setting the bowl in a larger bowl of ice will speed this up.). Fill each tartlet with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cool lemon filling.

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a saucepan that can hold a standing mixer’s bowl above the water. Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt in the bowl by hand. Set the bowl above the boiling water and continue whisking until the mixture is hot to the touch (135 degrees F) and the sugar dissolves, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the whites at medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Increase speed to high and continue to beat to make a stiff, cool meringue, about 10 minutes. Dollop or pipe on top of the filling.

Just before serving, preheat the broiler to high. Set the pies on a baking sheet, and place under the broiler until the meringue is evenly toasted, about 2 minutes. (Alternatively, brown meringue with a blowtorch.) Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
For Busy Bakers:

They can be refrigerated for up to 2 days These also freeze wonderfully! They can be assembled and frozen up to 1 week in advance. Defrost for 20 minutes before broiling the tops and serving.
To make ahead in stages:

– The crusts can be made, baked and frozen up to 2 weeks.

– The curd can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated.

– The meringue can be made up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated.

Recipe Type: Tags: , ,

Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Anny on Mar 25, 2013

    I have to go to my sons for Christmas dinner and all his in laws will be there. I need some dish that will blow there socks off.
    The meal has to be prepared well in advance so it has to be cold. It could be a dessert of appetizer.

  2. posted by Dr Dorian on Mar 25, 2013

    I heard in my food tech class that the right way to cook a meringue e.g. lemon meringue pie is to cook it a low temperature for a long period of time. is this correct? appariently it fully dries out the meringue, i mean i like the gewy/crispy bits of the meringue but i was interested. and if this is true how long would i cook it for and at what temperature

  3. posted by everydayGuitarist on Mar 25, 2013

    pizza, hamburgers, chicken strips, spaghetti, mac and cheese, ice cream, potpie, lemon meringue pie, cheese, salsa and chips, hot dogs, baked beans, watermelon, tacos, coconut cream pie, apple pie, cake, milkshakes, smoothies, chili cheese fries, bacon, omelets, jello, burritos, meatballs and jalapeno burgers. Those are all the things I could think of that I like to eat.

  4. posted by EzioAuditore1459 on Mar 25, 2013

    What’s it taste like? Is it hard to make?

  5. posted by skychi99 on Mar 25, 2013

    The top of the pie is a light brown color, but it still looks a little bit liquid-y. is that supposed to happen?

  6. posted by gail C on Mar 25, 2013

    The topping of Lemon Meringue Pie.

  7. posted by norrin_shadowwolf on Mar 25, 2013

    *ahem* I’m not an experienced baker, but I’m trying to make a Lemon Meringue Pie. Could someone please tell me if I should bake the pie shell before and then fill it, or should I fill it and then bake it?

    I’m not sure, because my recipe says to bake it after… but it doesn’t specify about the shell.. will it bake properly if I fill it and then put it in?

    If I’m supposed to fill then bake, for how long and at what temperature?

  8. posted by uberfailz on Mar 25, 2013

    For example (scrambled, fried, hard boiled)
    How do you make different types of eggs? And which type is the best for you? Whats your favorite?

  9. posted by Ev dog on Mar 25, 2013

    please help, I need the original lemon meringue pie recipe from the Joy of Cooking cookbook – I need to replicate the one my mom made, and I’m sure that’s the book she got it out of. Thanks!

  10. posted by sethburger on Mar 25, 2013

    Sooo, we have a family Christmas party coming up, and I’m planning on bringing some baked goods. I need as many ideas as I can get. So far I have
    -Sugar Cookies
    -Shortbread Cookies
    -Gingerbread men

    What else is there?

  11. posted by Nick on Mar 25, 2013

    I’m a little bored with making the same flavors of pie like strawberry, apple, and cherry, so are there any new, creative ideas that i can use to bake a great pie?
    Something for dessert though, nothing like pot pies and such with meat and vegetables. Something hot and sweet!

  12. posted by thinkthought on Mar 25, 2013

    What are the merits of the various ways available to thicken pie filling for a fruit pie? Flour vs. cornstarch slurry, for example? I’d appreciate hearing why you might use one or the other for a given set of ingredients or a desired effect. Thanks!

  13. posted by Benihana on Mar 25, 2013

    I need the recipie for the little pastry shell, but I first need to bake them a lil bit, then pipe in the filling and then top with the egg white

  14. posted by Elijah luv on Mar 25, 2013

    I just picked up a Lemon Meringue (sp) Pie from Marie Callendars, they had them sitting out. It’s for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Should I put it in the fridge, or is it okay to leave out for a little over 24 hours?

  15. posted by Sergio on Mar 25, 2013

    It’s an apple pie.
    My recipe says: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Fit pastry shell into pie pan and place in freezer.
    The pie must be in the oven for around 40 minutes
    hope it helps

  16. posted by everydayGuitarist on Mar 25, 2013

    I often have egg whites left over when cooking. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could use them up. I get bored with making meringues.

  17. posted by clntvrrt on Mar 26, 2013

    I am wanting to make a cake and I heard that there was a recipe where you use a pudding mix in it. Do you know the recipe or where I could find it?
    I have chocolate pudding is there any recipes for that kind??
    *That lemon one sounds great Georgia Peach!!!!* I might just try it!

  18. posted by Disrae on Mar 26, 2013

    I can’t decide which one to make :) A little help deciding would be appreciated.

  19. posted by Joe M on Mar 26, 2013

    Also, what are the main raising agent when making choux pastry?
    If fat is not used at refrigerator temperature, what are the possible results?
    Why is pastry considered to be an unhealthy product?

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