Lemon Meringue Pie With Cookie Crumb Crust

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon pie is a staple in the south, especially in the hotter months. Often referred to as “lemon icebox pie”, it is commonly kept in the fridge and served cold as a refreshing ending to any meal. Of course you can purchase a lemon meringue pie at any grocery store and most fast food chains, but once you’ve had it made from scratch all store bought versions will pale in comparison.

As a girl, this was always my favorite (aside from my grandmother’s cherry cheese pie!). I just love the taste of lemon, its like a little bit of sunshine to your taste buds!

This is a surprisingly simple pie to make so I’m also going to show you how to make a cookie crumb crust and a homemade meringue. I’ve gotten endless requests for a meringue recipe and tutorial so here ya go! Sorry it took me so long to get one up for you!

Feel free to use a store bought crust for this to streamline the process. Those who don’t care for meringue can leave the pie “topless” or add whipped topping in its place once your pie has been baked and cooled. reunion-lemon-pie-mud-cake-016

For our crust you’ll need:

  • 1 box vanilla wafers
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons margarine

This is a basic cookie crumb crust which is really suited to just about any pie. You can substitute graham cracker crumbs for the wafers and even crush up stale cookies as a substitute as well. Depending on the pie, you may even want to experiment with adding a teaspoon of cinnamon for more flavor :). Have fun with it, there is no right or wrong way!

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Crush half of the box of wafers (about forty of them). I used my food processor for this but you can put them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin or whatever method you choose.

Running over them with the car might be fun, depending on the type of day you’re having. If you decide on that method, I’d double bag ‘em first ~winks and grins~. When automotive vehicles become involved in the baking process,  you know you’re living a fun life!

Add sugar and stir well.

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Until it looks like this.

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Melt margarine and add to crumbs.

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Mix that up well

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Press that into your pan.

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Take the remainder of your cookies and press them into the crust along the top of the sides like this.

Now is where you might want to use a pastry brush to brush down the crumbs which are in between the wafers. I don’t and I won’t. Have you ever noticed that we have an odd habit of trying to make our homemade pies and cakes look like they are store bought? Doesn’t this strike you as strange? Knowing homemade is a hundred times better than anything pre made in a store, I just let my homemade baked goods go on looking homemade. Trust me, its a good thing.

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Now lets make our filling. You’ll need:

  • eggs
  • sweetened condensed milk (14 – 15 ounce can)
  • lemon juice (You can use fresh or bottled)

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We need to separate our whites from our yolks. They sell all manner of contraptions for doing this but I’m going to show you how to do it the old fashioned way, which means you’ll have one less one-use utensil in your drawer.

Tap egg gently on the side of the bowl to crack it.

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Separate halves slowly

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Hold the halves so that the yolk (dark yellow part) is in one, letting the white drip off into the bowl.

reunion-lemon-pie-mud-cake-035You don’t have to have every single smidgen of white off, there will still be a bit attached to your yolk and thats fine, too.

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Gently pour the yolks back into the other half and the rest of the white will drip off, you may need to tilt it slightly. Be careful not to break the yolk as we are going to  use these whites to make our meringue.

If you get any of the yolk mixed in with the white your meringue won’t work.

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Place your yolks in a separate bowl from your whites.

We’ll use the yolks for our filling and the whites for the meringue.

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Place two egg yolks in a bowl and add entire can of sweetened condensed milk.

I am using three whites in my merginue but only two yolks in my filling so you can save the other for another use or throw it away.

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Add lemon juice. Mix well with electric mixer.

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Pour into prepared crust.

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To make our meringue we’ll need:

  • Sugar
  • 3 egg whites

Meringue is easy to make but there are a few things to avoid in order to be successful.

  • All utensils and bowls used in making meringue should be clean and free of any oily residue. Washing them in a dishwasher or very hot water with a good rinse will ensure this.
  • Eggs separate easily when cold but meringue rises higher when at room temperature. Therefore, you may want to separate your eggs and then allow them to sit for half an hour or so before making your meringue. Of course I didn’t do this…
  • It is important, when spreading meringue on top of your dessert, that it touches all sides of the dish. This is often referred to “sealing” your dessert and will prevent the meringue from shrinking up and leaving the sides as the dish bakes.
  • If you get any yolk at all in your meringue, it will not work. If separating eggs is something you’re not quite proficient at yet, you might want to crack eggs one at a time into a coffee cup and then pour it into your bowl once you are certain there is no yolk in the white. If you do get yolk into the white, use part of the egg shell to scoop it all out rather than your fingers. Your fingers will add oil to the whites and hinder their whipping as well as break the egg yolk up further, making it almost impossible to completely remove.

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Place whites in mixing bowl.

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Mix with an electric mixer on high. It will begin to look sudsy very shortly.

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When it looks spongey and foamy, I add my sugar.

reunion-lemon-pie-mud-cake-051Pour in sugar and beat on high again…we are going to go for soft peaks and I’ll show you what I mean by that.

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Your whites will stop looking foamy and begin to be smooth and shiny like this.

See that peak in the meringue right around six o’clock? When you lift up your beater and it forms a peak that the tip just barely falls down on, thats a soft peak. A stiff peak could be when your point remains standing straight up. Some meringue recipes say to beat until stiff peaks form but I find that your meringue spreads prettier if you place it atop your dessert at the soft peak stage. This is just my personal preference. If stiff peaks make you happy, party on!

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Place on top of your pie.

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Spread it out a bit. Make sure your meringue touches the sides in all places.

reunion-lemon-pie-mud-cake-057You might want to pretty it up a bit by running the back of a spoon over it.

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Bake in a 325 degree oven for fifteen minuts, or until top is golden. Allow to cool completely before cutting. I like to refrigerate mine and serve it cold.

Voila! Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie.

This is so much more delicious than store bought!

Lemon Meringue Pie With Cookie Crumb Crust

Lemon Meringue Pie With Cookie Crumb Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 box vanilla wafers (crust)
  • 6 T margarine (crust)
  • 3 T sugar (crust)
  • 14-15 ounce can sweetened condensed milk (filling)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled) (filling)
  • 2 egg yolks (filling)
  • 3 egg whites (Meringue)
  • 1/4 C sugar (Meringue)

Instructions

  1. For crust, crush half of wafers (about 40). Stir in sugar. Add melted margarine and stir until well blended. Pat out into pie plate.
  2. For filling, Mix all ingredients with electric mixer until well blended. Pour into crust. Top with Meringue.
  3. For meringue, Whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar. Continue beating on high speed until soft peaks form. Pour onto top of pie and spread to edges to seal well. Bake at 325 for fifteen minutes or until top is golden. Allow to cool completely and refrigerate before serving, if desired.
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Another great recipe to use this homemade meringue on: Homemade Banana Pudding, the first tutorial I ever did!

Gratefully,

Christy :)

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Comments

  1. Sabrina says

    My husband made this pie over the weekend, it was great ! But when he cut the pie it had extra liquid ,not the filling itself. What did he do wrong to make this happen? The pie still tasted great so no big deal , I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas as to why this happened.

    • Linda Hosse says

      Hi Sabrina
      I had the same problem so,I used juice from lemons,plus a Teaspoon of lemon zest.I’m not sure what caused the watery consistency when I used bottled juice but,the lemons worked for me & tasted better..hope this helps

  2. Melody says

    I made two of these pies for our Good Friday get together at my Mother-in-laws. I made one with whipped cream and one with meringue and they were a big hit. As a fairly new addition to the family, (I’ve been married one year in January) it was heart warming to hear my Mimi (my husbands grandmother) say “you know, you really are a good cook”. I didn’t let her know how very easy these pies were, but thank you Christy for helping me make a good impression! :) The pictures really helped!

  3. Adeline says

    My mom has made this pie since I was VERY small…….which is to say well over 60 years !! We just called it Graham cracker pie, cause we always use a graham cracker crust. I’m going to try this cookie crust ! sounds yummy.

  4. Anita says

    I make a version of this pie. I use sour orange juice instead of lemon juice. My friends & family love it. Sour oranges are what grows on an orange tree after the sweet orange tree that was grafted onto the sour orange rootstock freezes. Some people call it wild orange.

  5. Carolyn Taylor says

    I would love to say thank you so much for this recipe.My husband eats Edwards Lemon Meringue Pie by himself 2 times a week this will save me about $12 a week.He said this is an exact match : ) God Bless, Carolyn

  6. kaybird says

    I am from Alabama and would like to say that there is a HUGE difference between Lemon Ice Box Pie and Lemon Meringue Pie. This is for lemon ice box pie. Lemon icebox pie has sweetened condensed milk in the custard part and uses a graham cracker crust. Lemon meringue pie uses a regular crust and no sweetened condensed milk. I much prefer lemon meringue pie, but this is great as well. Lemon Meringue has a translucent look to the filling and isn’t as tart as the icebox pie.

  7. Betts Kleinhans-Stevens says

    Thanks Christy! I made this pie today. I had used sweetened condensed milk for lemon meringue previously and didn’t like the recipe I had used. But this ipe was excellent. I will certainly make it again!

  8. Kathy says

    If you have a problem with your meringue weeping or being a little watery and not setting up high and light, you can add a teaspoon of baking powder when you start to beat the egg whites and then add a tsp. of baking soda and then add a tsp. of corn starch right at the end as it is forming stiff peaks. My mother has done this for years and her meringue never weeps. This is good for hot, humid areas where it’s a little harder to make meringue pies also. It doesn’t change the taste at all.

  9. Kim says

    I would love to try this recipe, I just need to know if my family does not like meringue, should the filling still be cooked for 15 minutes? What if you want to use the mini graham cracker crust?

  10. martha says

    I have been looking for this recipe for so long! I am putting together a family cookbook and my grandmother made this pie, but of course never wrote down the recipe. I was afraid it was gone forever. Thanks so much!

  11. Becky says

    Christy, I made this for one of our family Christmas gatherings. It was a first for me making meringue as my mom or grandmother usually makes lemon meringue pie. I am pleased to say it went in less than 5 minutes! I was shocked at how easy the meringue was to make. I have always been intimidated by meringue. My husband has me making another one today just for him!

  12. Felix says

    Help!!! I love this pie but I am having a liquid problem. Everything looks great until I cut into it. It oozes liquid after you cut it. It’s clear and very lemony. I love the taste, but because I would like to photograph a cut pie, the liquid kind of takes away from the photo . Can you provide any suggestions?

  13. Felix says

    BTW – is it supposed to run? I have seen other recipes that add cornstarch. Should I do that? I love the flavor and don’t need to change that. I should mention I use Meyers Lemons and do add about a Tbs of zest. Any help would be appreciated.

  14. LaNita Cook says

    For the ppl needing to know that the lemon juice cooks the egg yolks, not the 15 minutes you put the pie into the oven. The reason for cooking it in the hot oven for 15 minutes is to make the meringue brown. Love this pie.

  15. Melissa says

    Yesterday was my daughters 11th birthday and she requested tacos and lemon ice box pie!! Fixing to go whip this baby up!! Thanks for simplicity, the other recipe I looked at required jello which I don’t have on hand.

  16. Judy Sirks says

    Not able to copy recipe photos and only some content since you have a protected copyright to print or do electronically copy. Other sites I have gone to, Pinterest etc does not do that. Once it copied the whole page including the ads and wouldn’t let me delete them. I didn’t see the copyright until after going thru all of that since it was at the bottom of your page. Just not a friendly thing for your viewers since that is why they look at your site. You have some great
    recipe and I appreciate the how to photos but not worth the hassle to get info for a recipe here. :)

    • says

      Hey Judy!
      All you have to do is click the “print recipe” button beneath each recipe.
      It’s really very simple but easy to overlook :) I’m so sorry you don’t think me very friendly or neighborly. I spend 40+ hours a week on SouthernPlate but there are a lot of websites and facebook pages that copy and paste content into their site and place themselves as the author, of the stories, recipes, and photos. This has been really hurting the traffic of food bloggers and brought us to the point that we won’t be able to afford to offer these blogs to people if we don’t try to protect our content. While the site is free to you, it costs me over three times what my mortgage is per month to keep it going,so I rely on traffic coming to my site to help cover costs and when people steal my content, they also steal my traffic. Plus, it’s simply wrong.
      However, as I said, there are really simple options for printing the recipe. I promise I’m being neighborly, but as with most things, the bad guys make it harder for the good folks. If people continue to frequent the sites that steal content from food bloggers, eventually the well will run dry.
      I appreciate you taking time to let me know of your disappointment and I hope I’ve explained it a little bit.
      Have a blessed day!
      Gratefully
      Christy

  17. Dawn Hoover says

    I just wanted you to know that I ordered your new book. I cant wait to see it. The main reason I decided to go ahead and order was the video that you had made when you first opened it and the genuine emotion that you showed while opening it. I could see that you have a love of what you do and how you felt about this cook book. Thanks again for the great recipes and great amount of encouragement every time you post.

  18. SidzWoman says

    Oh, Christy…. Christy, Christy, Christy….. bless your precious little heart for posting this recipe. I found it just before Christmas, & I’ve made it twice already. The first time, I followed the recipe to the letter & it was good — a hint of lemon flavor, great cookie crust, & I’m a “stiff peak-er” when it comes to the meringue but didn’t have any trouble spreading it over the pie. I made a few variations, though. I added about a tablespoon of coarse lemon zest (coarse only because I didn’t have a rasp or any other grater-type contraption at the time), & I cooked the pie for 15 minutes WITHOUT the meringue on top. I made the meringue while the pie cooled, & then I cooked it for an additional 12-15 minutes WITH the meringue. I beat my wafers to death with the back of this heavy pasta spoon that I have, but I still ended up with a few larger pieces. I didn’t care — for me, it added to the “homemade-ness” of the pie, so I did it on purpose the second time around. The pie was devoured within 24 hours, but I do agree with a previous poster — it wasn’t lemony enough for me. On the second go-round, in addition to adding the lemon zest I added the juice of the zested lemon (which probably ended up being about 1/4 of a cup or so, but I didn’t measure it). It really thinned out the “custard”, but the great part about that was that I was able to split it AND my cookie crumb crust into 2 small 8″ pies (note that I didn’t double the crust recipe — I was just lucky enough to be able to cover the bottom of each pie plate with the original crust recipe — the crust went up the side of each pie plate about a half an inch, which was just enough to embed the whole wafers into), and the lemon flavor ended up being EXACTLY what I wanted!!! I also let my store-bought lemon juice come up to room temperature before combining the ingredients, so that may have helped the flavor as well (I combined everything right out of the fridge the first time). Hon, between you & Brandie “The Country Cook”, I’ll NEVER fit into my wedding dress but my husband to be will always eat great!

    BTW — I’m a Birmingham native & current resident, as well as a UAH graduate!!!

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