Ann Landers' Best-Ever Lemon Pie and Meringue

"I got it from a taxi driver in New York at least 20 years ago...Almost everyone knows that you can buy pie shells that are nearly as good as any that are made in your very own kitchen. Here's the recipe again."

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  • 1 baked 9-inch pie shell
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Never-Fail Meringue

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3 egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. Pie: Mix sugar and cornstarch together in the top of a double boiler. Add the two cups of water.
  2. Combine egg yolks with lemon juice and beat until well mixed. Add to the rest of the sugar mixture. Cook over boiling water until thick - about 25 minutes. This does away with the starchy taste.
  3. Add the lemon extract, butter and vinegar, and stir thoroughly. Pour mixture into deep 9-inch pie shell, and let cool. Cover with meringue, and brown in oven.
  4. Never-Fail Meringue: Blend cornstarch and cold water in a saucepan. Add boiling water, and cook, stirring until clear and thickened. Let stand until COMPLETELY cold. With electric beater at high speed, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add sugar, and beat until stiff but not dry. Turn mixer to low speed; add salt and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in cold cornstarch mixture. Turn mixer again to high, and beat well. Spread meringue over cooled pie filling.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Source: Ann Landers' column

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