Mini Lemon Meringue Pies
Mini Lemon Meringue Pie is a tart, creamy lemon meringue pie for two baked deep dish style in mini springform pans. Can also be baked in a 6 inch pie plate.
Deep dish pie is something my dad has been trying to do for years. Every time we walk past pie plates, we would look to see if any were deep dish. None were, so we gave up looking.
Then one day I saw this deep dish pecan pie that cleverly used a springform pan for the crust. Oh I have that!
That got my gears turning to turn my dad’s dream into reality with deep dish Mini Lemon Meringue Pies baked in two 4 inch springform pans.
However, a whole pie is often too much dessert for two, so I opted for two individual lemon meringue pies.
Topped with a cloud-like meringue lightly toasted to perfection, my lemon meringue mini pies are a harmonious balance of tanginess and sweetness.
And because mini deep dish pies mean smaller portion sizes, they’d make the perfect romantic dessert for two.
Make them for National Lemon Meringue Pie Day on August 15 (tomorrow!).
Or share one with your dad because it’ll brighten his day.
What pan do I need for Mini Lemon Meringue Pies?
You’ll need two 4 inch springform pans for your lemon meringue pie for two. It’s important to use a springform pan because you can’t invert a pie.
Most of the time you can buy a set of three 4 inch springform pans.
You can also make one small lemon meringue pie by putting the whole recipe into a 6 inch pie plate. Check out my buttery small pie crust recipe for more info plus step by step photos on making pie dough.
Ingredients For Mini Lemon Meringue Pie
To make your individual lemon meringue pies, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- All-Purpose Flour – Flour helps make a tender crust with its gluten as well as helps keep the dough from getting too sticky.
- Sugar – Helps with sweetness and caramelization.
- Salt – Salt is a flavor enhancer and will only make your pie taste even better, especially if using unsalted butter.
- Butter – Butter adds the most flavor and melt-in-your-mouth quality to your pie crust.
- Cream Cheese Adds a bit of tanginess and flakiness to your crust.
- Cold Water – Water creates steam in the dough, which helps create flakes. It also helps bind everything together to form a dough.
- Cornstarch: Helps thicken the filling as well as help keep your meringue from shrinking
- Lemon zest and juice: It’s not lemon meringue pie without the lemon!
- Egg yolks: Used to make your rich custard filling. Check out my post on what to do with leftover egg whites.
- Vanilla: Enhances the lemon flavor
- Egg white: Needed to make the meringue
How To Make Mini Lemon Meringue Pies
Ready to make your lemon meringue mini pies? The steps may seem daunting, but it’s easier to focus on one part at a time.
For the pie crust:
- Make the crust by putting the flour, sugar, salt, butter, and cream cheese in a food processor then pulsing until it looks like pebbles. Add the water and pulse until a dough forms.
- Divide and shape the dough into two even pieces. Shape into flat round discs then refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Roll out the dough then press into the bottom and up the sides of each pan. Prick holes with a fork, line with greased foil, then fill with pie weights.
- Bake at 400F for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and done.
For the lemon filling:
- Whisk together water, sugar, cornstarch, zest, and salt in a saucepan then bring to a boil.
- Cook for a few minutes until smooth, transparent, and starts to thicken.
- Whisk together yolks and lemon juice in a separate bowl then whisk in some of the hot sugar mixture to temper the eggs.
- Transfer eggs to the saucepan then finish cooking until thickened. Whisk in the butter and vanilla.
- Add lemon filling to cooled pie crust.
For the meringue:
- Whisk together the sugar, water, cornstarch, and salt then bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute or until the mixture becomes clear and thickened.
- Beat the egg white until foamy in a mixing bowl then increase speed and beat until soft peaks form.
- Beat in the sugar mixture then continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Top pie with the meringue, making sure the pie is completely sealed.
- Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.
How To Store Mini Lemon Meringue Pies
Due to how sensitive meringue can be, mini lemon pies are best eaten the day they’ve made.
However, you can still refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days. Just note the meringue may not be as crispy and may weep a little.
Can you make lemon meringue mini pies ahead of time?
I get it – making a small lemon pie is a lot of work!
Although meringue is time sensitive, you can still make and bake your pie crust up to 3 days ahead of time then make the lemon filling and meringue the day you’re ready to serve.
Tips For Making A Successful Lemon Meringue Pie
- It’s important your lemon filling is hot when you add the meringue. Not only does it help cook from underneath, it also helps seal the two layers together.
- When making the meringue, make sure your bowl and beaters are extra clean and free from any fat residue. That also includes no trace of egg yolk in the white. Otherwise, it won’t whip into peaks.
- When adding your meringue on top, make sure all holes are sealed. Meringue acts like an insulator, preventing the heat from getting in. If it’s not fully sealed, the heat may overbake your filling.
Why is my lemon meringue pie too runny?
If your pie is too runny, that means you didn’t cook the lemon filling long enough to thicken.
That’s why it’s important your filling is thick before you remove it from the stove. Because meringue acts like an insulator, it will not cook further when you put it in the oven.
More Mini Pie Recipes
Enjoyed this pie for two recipe? Check out my other recipes for small pies:
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (12.5 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) table salt
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce or 28 grams) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 2 pieces
- 2 ounces (56 grams) full-fat cream cheese (do not sub fat free), cold and cut into 2 pieces
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) cold water
- 1/2 cup (118 mL) water
- 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (7.5 grams) cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons (4 grams) lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 grams) table salt
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (29.57 ml) lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (29.57 mL) water
- 1 teaspoon (2.5 grams) cornstarch
- Pinch of table salt
- 1 large egg white, room temperature
- First, make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Add the cold butter and cold cream cheese pieces and pulse until the mixture looks like large pebbles. Add the water then pulse until a dough forms.
- Gather the dough and divide into 2 pieces (or 1 piece if using a 6 inch pie plate). Shape into flat round disks, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until cold.
- Wrap the outside bottom of two 4-inch springform pans with aluminum foil or have one ungreased 6 inch pie plate ready.
- Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough into a circle a little bigger than your pan (roughly 6 inches for springform, 8 inch for pie plate) with a thickness between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Prick holes with a fork. Repeat with the remaining dough and pan.
- Line each pie crust with greased foil on top then fill with pie weights or dried beans. Refrigerate while you preheat the oven to 400F/205C degrees. It's important the dough stays cold.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and weights then bake another 10-20 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown and no longer looks soggy. This is the only time the crust will be baked so it's important your dough isn't raw.
If using a glass pie plate, put it on a room temperature baking sheet before adding to the oven. Do not put a cold pan directly onto a hot oven rack or hot baking sheet. The sudden change in temperature may cause your glass pan to shatter.
- Turn the oven down to 350F/180C. Cool pie crust while you make the filling.
- Next, make the filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the water, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and salt. Bring to a boil, whisking often. Boil for 1-2 minutes or until smooth, almost transparent, and starts to thicken.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and lemon juice. Whisk some of the hot sugar mixture into the yolks to temper. Return everything to the saucepan.
- Bring back to a boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes or until thick and clear, whisking often.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Fill the cooled pie shells with hot filling. It's important your filling is hot or the meringue won't bake properly. Don't let it cool.
- Make the meringue: In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, water, cornstarch, and salt. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute or until the mixture becomes clear and thickened. Remove from the heat.
- In a clean large mixing bowl on medium speed (with whisk attachment if using a stand mixer), beat the egg white until foamy. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form (when you pull the beaters straight up, the peaks will form but the tips will fall over).
- Gradually beat in the sugar mixture. Beat until stiff peaks form (when you pull the beaters straight up, the peaks won't fall over).
- Top your hot filling with the meringue, making sure the pie is completely sealed (if there are holes in the meringue, there will be a mess). Bake 10-15 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown. Alternately, toast with a blow torch.
- Cool completely to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Pies are best served the same day they're made. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days.
- To make your pie ahead of time, you can fully bake the crust up to 3 days in advance. Then make the lemon filling and meringue the day you're serving.
- No food processor? You can make the dough by hand by cutting the butter and cream cheese into the flour mixture with a pastry blender then stirring in the water.
- Enjoyed this recipe? Check out my Mini Pumpkin Pies, Small Pumpkin Pie, and Small Pecan Pie.
First published February 5, 2013