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Buttermilk Lemon Meringue Pie

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 15 min. + chilling


8 servings

Updated: May. 13, 2022
For lemon lovers everywhere, this wonderful pie with a little extra tang beats the usual lemon meringue every time, no contest. Compliments roll in whenever I serve it. —Ellen Riley, Murfreesboro, Tennessee


  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar


  1. Combine the cracker crumbs, sugar and butter; press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. pie plate. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. For filling, in a large saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in buttermilk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir for 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Stir 1 cup of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Stir in butter. Gently stir in lemon juice and zest. Pour hot filling into pastry shell.
  3. For meringue, in a small mixing bowl, beat the egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form. Spread over hot filling, sealing edges to crust.
  4. Bake at 350° until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour; refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • It's important that the filling be hot when you top it with meringue. If it's not, the meringue may "weep," creating an unappetizing pool of liquid on top of the filling.
  • For a light, fluffy and smooth meringue, beat in the sugar gradually, allowing it to dissolve after each addition.
  • Cornstarch has a magical effect on eggs. In this filling, it prevents the egg proteins from interacting with one another and becoming rubbery. Add a touch of cornstarch to scrambled eggs to help them stay moist and delicious.
  • Nutrition Facts

    1 piece: 350 calories, 14g fat (8g saturated fat), 106mg cholesterol, 242mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (42g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.