Lemon Meringue Fun Facts
Lemon meringue pie is a type of baked pie, made with a crust usually made of shortcrust or shortbread pastry, lemon curd filling and a fluffy meringue topping. Also it is prepared with a bottom pie crust. The meringue is placed directly on top of the lemon filling. No upper crust is used.
- The Quakers generally receive credit for inventing lemon custard in the late 1700s. Philadelphian Elizabeth Coane Goodfellow, a pastry chef, businesswoman, and cooking school founder, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1806, expanded on lemon custard and invented lemon meringue pie.
- August 15th is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day.
- Lemon trees bloom and produce fruit year-round. Each tree can produce between 500 and 600 pounds of lemons in a year.
- Add the juice of one lemon to an equal amount of hot water for an anti-bacterial gargle.
- Food historians say lemons have been in cultivation around the Mediterranean from as early as the first century A.D.
- High in vitamin C, lemons prevent scurvy, a disease that causes bleeding gums, loose teeth and aching joints. To this day, the British Navy requires ships to carry enough lemons so that every sailor can have one ounce of juice a day.
- California and Arizona produce 95% of the entire U.S. lemon crop.
Pie Fun Facts
Approx. $700 million in pies are sold in grocery stores every year. This does not include restaurants, only grocery stores. If you lined up the number of pies sold in one year, they would circle the globe.
- Pumpkin pie was first introduced to the holiday table at the pilgrim’s second Thanksgiving in 1623.
- Pie is so special it has two days: December 1st and January 23rd are National Pie Day.
- April 28th is National Blueberry Pie Day.
- June 9th is National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day.
- September 28th is National Strawberry Cream Pie Day.
- October 23rd is National Boston Cream Pie Day.
- Oliver Cromwell banned the eating of pie in 1644, declaring it a pagan form of pleasure. For 16 years, pie eating and making went underground until the Restoration leaders lifted the ban on pie in 1660.
- Pie was not always America’s favorite dessert – in the 19th Century, fruit pies were a common breakfast food eaten before the start of a long day.
- The Ancient Egyptians around 2,500 BC are known to have eaten pies made with ground oats or wheat wrapped around a filling of honey or figs.
- 47% of Americans for whom the word “comforting” comes to mind when they think of pie.
- 1 in 5 Americans have claimed to have eaten an entire pie by themselves.
- 9% Americans who prefer to eat their pie crust-first.
- 18% of men who say their wife makes the best homemade pie while 2% of women who say their husband makes the best homemade pie.
- “As easy as pie” is an American expression. In the 1890’s, “pie” was a common slang expression meaning anything easy, a cinch; the expression “easy as pie” stemmed quite readily from that.
- Boston Cream Pie is a cake, not a pie.
Facts and picture courtesy of
Recipe and picture courtesy of
World’s Best Meringue Lemon Pie
“MOTHER’S PIES were always so wonderful, with tender, flaky crusts. Through the year we enjoyed berry and apple pies, but in summer the order of the day was lemon meringue—so light and refreshing!”
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 3 large egg yolks, beaten
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest – a lemon zester would be helpful
- 1 graham cracker pastry shell (9 inches), baked
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt.
- Gradually stir in water. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes more.
- Remove from the heat. Gradually stir 1 cup of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to saucepan.
- Bring to boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the butter, lemon juice and zest until smooth. Pour into pastry shell. In a bowl, beat egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry peaks are formed.
- Gradually beat in sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over pie, sealing edges to pastry. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until meringue is golden.
- Cool. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
1 piece: 334 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 89mg cholesterol, 286mg sodium, 57g carbohydrate (38g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.