Maya Angelou's Lemon Meringue Pie

Maya Angelou once said, "You may be given a load of sour lemons, so why not try to make a dozen lemon meringue pies?"


  • One 9-inch pie crust
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups soft white bread crumbs (no crusts)
  • 4 large egg yolks, whites reserved for meringue
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • The zest of one lemon
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • For the meringue:
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 tablespoons sugar


  1. In a 9-inch pie dish, bake pie crust at 450°F for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  2. Turn oven down to 400°F. In a double boiler, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in hot water and combine until smooth. Add crumbs and continue mixing until smooth and thickened.
  3. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks, and add a small amount of the mixture. Stir and then add it to the rest of the mixture. Cook over low to medium heat for 2 minutes. Add butter, lemon zest, and juice. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Make the meringue: beat egg whites with salt until frothy. Gradually add cream of tartar and sugar. Beat until stiff.
  5. Pour the filling into the pre-baked shell. Pile meringue on top and cover the filling completely. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.