Lemon Meringue Pie With Condensed Milk and Wafers

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This Southern lemon meringue pie with condensed milk recipe is perfection in every bite. I mean, who can resist soft vanilla wafers as the cookie crumb crust, a meringue topping, and a sweet and zesty lemon filling?

Bite of lemon meringue pie with condensed milk on plate.

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 cream cheese pie). I just love the taste of lemon – it’s like a little bit of sunshine to your taste buds!

This Southern lemon meringue pie with condensed milk is a surprisingly simple pie to make, so I’m also going to show you how to make a cookie crumb crust with our trusty vanilla wafers 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.

And if you’re in the mood to try out another lemon pie recipe, I may have one or two on the blog. Check out Impossible Lemon Pie and my lemon chess pie.

Labeled ingredients for lemon meringue pie with condensed milk.

Recipe Ingredients

Lemon pie filling

  • Eggs
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Bottled or fresh lemon juice

Pie Crust

  • Vanilla wafers
  • Sugar
  • Margarine


  • Sugar
  • Egg whites

How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie With Condensed Milk and Wafers

Crush wafers using food processor.

1. Make the Pie Crust

Crush half of the box of wafers (about 40 of them) in a medium bowl. I use 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~. 

Add sugar and beat again.

Add sugar and stir well.

Add melted butter and beat again.

Melt margarine and add to crumbs.

Cookie crumb crust ready for pan.

Mix that up well until it looks like this.

Press cookie crumb crust into pie pan

Press the crumb mixture into your pan.

Add remaining wafers around the edge of the crust.

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

Tap egg on bowl gently to crack it/

2. Make the Lemon Pie Filling

First, 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 the egg gently on the side of the bowl to crack it.

Slowly separate egg halves.

Separate halves slowly.

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

You don’t have to have every single smidgen of white off, there will still be a bit attached to your yolk and that’s fine, too.

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.

Place egg yolks in separate bowl to whites.

Place your yolks in a separate bowl from your whites.

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

Combine yolks and condensed milk in mixing bowl.

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

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

Add lemon juice to bowl and combine.

Add lemon juice and mix well with an electric mixer.

Pour lemon meringue pie filling into cookie crust.

Pour the lemon pie filling into the prepared crust.

Place egg whites in mixing bowl.

3. Making the Meringue

Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl.

Beat egg whites with electric mixer.

Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high. It will begin to look sudsy very shortly.

Add sugar once foamy.

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

Beat meringue until soft peaks form.

Pour in the sugar and beat on high again.

We are going to go for soft peaks and I’ll show you what I mean by that.

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

The soft peaks you're looking for with your meringue.

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, that’s 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!

Spread meringue over the top of the lemon pie.

Place on top of your pie.

Evenly spread meringue over the lemon pie.

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

You might want to pretty it up a bit by running the back of a spoon over it.

Baked lemon meringue pie.

Bake in a 325-degree oven for 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

The layers of the lemon meringue pie.

Look at those layers!

Allow it to cool completely before cutting.

I like to refrigerate mine and serve it cold.

Slice of lemon meringue pie with condensed milk.

Voila! Enjoy my homemade creamy lemon meringue pie recipe.


Store leftover lemon meringue pie loosely covered with aluminum foil in the fridge for up to 2 days. Do not freeze.

Recipe Notes

  • For added lemon flavor, add 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest to the lemon filling.
  • This is a basic cookie crumb crust that is really suited to just about any pie. You can substitute graham cracker crumbs for the wafers to make a graham cracker crust, or 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!

Meringue tips

  • 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.
  • It is important, when spreading meringue on top of your dessert, that it touches all sides of the dish. This is often referred to as “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. However, if you do get yolk into the white, use part of the eggshell 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.

You may also like these delicious dessert ideas:

Ghost Meringue Cookies Recipe

Homemade Banana Pudding with Meringue Topping

Orange Meringue Pie

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies AKA Cloud Cookies

Coconut Meringue Pie (My Favorite)

Slice of lemon meringue pie with condensed milk.

Lemon Meringue Pie

This Southern lemon meringue pie with condensed milk, meringue topping, lemon filling, and a vanilla wafer crust is perfection in every bite.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon, meringue, pie
Servings: 6



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


  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice fresh or bottled
  • 2 egg yolks


  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • For the crust, crush half of the wafers (about 40), stir in sugar, add the melted margarine, and stir until well blended. Pat out into a pie plate.
    1 box vanilla wafers, 6 tbsp margarine, 3 tbsp sugar
  • For the pie filling, mix all of the ingredients with an electric mixer until well blended. Pour into the crust and top with meringue.
    1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 2 egg yolks
  • For the meringue, whip the egg whites until foamy, and then add the sugar. Continue beating at high speed until soft peaks form. Pour onto the top of the pie and spread to the edges to seal well. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes or until the top is golden. Allow it to cool completely and refrigerate before serving if desired.
    3 egg whites, 1/4 cup sugar
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!



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  1. 5 stars
    I believe this easy recipe was developed in the 1950’s, heavily advertised in the 1960’s , too. I could make this as a kid of 13 so folks, it is easy. I like that you used a vintage Pyrex bowl, how very appropriate.

  2. Thank u shortly after I made the comment, the actual recipe popped up n it clarified 1/2 c of lemon juice for the filling, n 1/4 c of sugar for the meringue. Thank u.

  3. I’m srry,but this recipe was unclear as to how much lemon juice to use for the filling, n again how much sugar to add to the meringue?? Could u plez email me bk, n maybe fixthis. On Google. Thank u.

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