This homemade lemon meringue pie has it all! Sweet graham cracker crust, tart lemon curd, and fluffy, billowy meringue topping combine to make a dessert that is absolutely divine — and best of all, easy to make!
Summertime is quickly approaching. Plenty of sunshine during longer, warmer days and scrumptious lemony delights are back on the schedule!
This iconic no bake jello meringue pie is the perfect dessert to bring to your next potluck or barbeque. Your friends and family will be delighted, and they never need to know how incredibly easy this recipe actually is!
Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:
- All of the ingredients you need to make this amazing jello lemon meringue pie
- Step-by-step instructions on crafting the perfect lemon icebox pie
- Expert tips on creating an out-of-this-world meringue topping
Meringue is intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. Gather your ingredients and get ready to take your baking to the next level!
How to Make a Jello Lemon Meringue Pie
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan with non-stick baking spray or rub with softened butter.
STEP TWO: Make the graham cracker crust by mixing the ingredients together in a large bowl until it resembles the consistency of wet sand. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and sides of your greased pie pan and freeze for at least one hour.
STEP THREE: While the crust sets, start on the pudding pie filling. Whisk whole milk and lemon pudding mix together in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the pudding mix for a total of 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.
STEP FOUR: Once the pudding is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, whisk in the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cover and chill.
STEP FIVE: Once the crust is set, carefully pour your pudding into the crust. Spread it evenly out to the edges, then chill again for at least 3 hours.
STEP SIX: Now, it’s time to make meringue! Bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer and place a heatproof bowl over the pot. Whisk the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar inside the bowl until the mixture is white and foamy and reaches a temperature of 165 degrees F.
STEP SEVEN: Transfer your egg white mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla, mixing until just combined.
STEP EIGHT: Gently spread the meringue over the pie filling and toast with a kitchen torch if desired (they’re actually pretty cheap!) This lemon pie is delicious toasted or plain so it is totally up to you!
Tips for Making This No Bake Lemon Meringue Pie
Here are a few things to consider to make the best possible pie:
- Use whole milk for the creamiest pudding pie filling.
- Use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for the most authentic, homemade flavor.
- Be sure to use the “cook and serve” lemon pudding mix instead of the “instant” pudding mix, which will not set properly.
- Feel free to use your own homemade lemon pudding mix if desired, but just use the powder instead of preparing it with milk and lemon.
Why Does My Graham Cracker Crust Fall Apart?
Start with whole graham crackers and pulverize them in a food processor, or buy them already in crumb form. Adding granulated sugar is optional but it makes the crust much better in my opinion.
Either way, be sure to pack your crust as tightly as possible. A more tightly packed crust means fewer crumbles. The butter is the key to holding it all together.
If you are in a pinch, choosing a pre-made graham cracker crust is totally acceptable.
How to Make the Best Meringue for Lemon Pie
A few tips will help you make the best meringue topping possible:
- Make sure there is no yolk or water at all in your egg whites — either one will destabilize and compromise your peaks.
- Sugar helps to stabilize and sweeten your meringue. Caster sugar is ideal but more common granulated sugar works almost just as well.
- Cream of tartar helps to stabilize your egg whites but you can also have a successful meringue without it.
- Don’t forget the vanilla to sweeten both the meringue and the whole dessert.
How Do I Store This Jello Lemon Meringue Pie?
If needed, the crust and the pudding portion of this lemon pie can be assembled, covered, and stored in the fridge for 24 hours before adding the meringue.
It is best to wait until just before serving to make and add the meringue. While it will keep in the fridge, the meringue has a tendency to “weep” which compromises the consistency of the pie and alters its all-over awesomeness.
The fully assembled lemon icebox pie can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Other Easy Dessert Recipes You’ll Love:
- Strawberry Shortcake Crumble
- Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Baking Soda
- 3 Ingredient Banana Pudding
- Banana Pudding with Sour Cream
- Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie
- Lime Jello Salad with Cottage Cheese
- Cool Whip Fruit Dip
- 5 Ingredient No Bake Cheesecake
For the Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Lemon Pudding
- 2 (3.4-ounce) packages cook and serve lemon pudding mix
- 3 ½ cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
For the Meringue
- 3 large egg whites
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- For the graham cracker crust, grease a 9-inch pie pan very lightly with non-stick baking spray (or rub it with softened butter). Wipe out any excess grease with a paper towel.
- In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter. Mix just until it resembles wet sand.
- Press the crust firmly into the bottom and sides of your prepared pie pan — the tighter you pack the crust, the less crumbly it will be! Freeze the crust for 1 hour.
- While the graham cracker crust sets in the freezer, prepare the lemon pudding. Whisk the pudding mix and whole milk in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the pudding for 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.
- After 8 minutes the pudding should be thick and bubbling — if it isn’t thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, cook it for an additional 2 minutes.
- Whisk in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Place a piece of cling wrap directly touching the surface of the pudding and place it into the fridge until the crust is finishing setting.
- Once the crust and pudding are chilled, pour the pudding carefully into the crust and spread it out to create an even layer. Place the pie back into the fridge to set for 3 hours (or until the pudding is fully set).
- When you’re about ready to serve the pie, it’s time to make the meringue. Heat a small saucepan of water over medium heat and bring the water to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl over the pot and ensure that it is not touching the surface of the water.
- Add the egg whites, granulated sugar, and cream of tartar to the bowl. Whisk constantly for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mixture is white, foamy, and reaches 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.
- Transfer the egg white mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla and mix just to combine.
- Spread the meringue over the pie and toast with a kitchen torch, if desired. This meringue is delicious both plain and toasted!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 189mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 6g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.