Posted by: Erica Retrochef | August 26, 2013

Lemon Meringue Pie

This recipe (with some minor variations in instructions) showed in Borden’s advertising for at least twenty years, as early as 1935. You can still find it in their official recipe collection, although they now suggest cooking the lemon filling before adding the meringue to be browned.



1 crumb or baked pastry 8-inch pie shell, cooled
1-1/3 cups (15-oz. can) Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind or 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
2 egg yolks

1. Put Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk, lemon juice, lemon rind or lemon extract, and egg yolks into mixing bowl; stir until mixture thickens. 2. Pour filling into chilled crumb crust or cooled pastry shell.


1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, if desired
2 egg whites
4 tablespoons sugar

1. Add cream of tartar to egg whites and beat until almost stiff enough to hold a peak. Then add sugar gradually, beating until stiff and glossy but not dry. Pile lightly on pie filling and seal to pie crust all around. 2. Bake in slow oven (325°F.) until top is lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Cool.


I do like a simple assortment of ingredients, no-cook or not.


Cleanly separated eggs, with no yolk bits at all in the whites.


Traditionally a lemon meringue pie would need to be cooked over the stove, but this assortment of ingredients is just being mixed in a bowl…


… and then being poured into a pre-baked pie crust.


Then, I whip the egg whites thoroughly until they stand in mostly stiff peaks. (I luuuuuuv a good meringue.)


Now, “no cook” stretches the truth somewhat, since we have to put this into the oven to brown the meringue. We may avoid making a custard in a double boiler, but I wouldn’t call this no cook.


This wasn’t quite as nice a lemon pie as Bob Hope’s — the flavor was more like Lemon Magic Pie, and it was quite sweet. (The meringue in particular didn’t need that much sugar, it ended up tasting more like marshmallows than a fluffy topping.) But it was certainly easier to bring together than Hope’s version, and additional lemon juice or zest would help cut the syrupy flavor of sweetened condensed milk. Between a good lemony flavor and a simple assembly process, there’s a reason Borden’s kept this recipe circulating in advertisements for years.

(I will note, though, that this filling looks more like a pudding-based pie, not the bright lemon yellow jelly that you see in the advertisement or in a cooked-filling lemon pie. So Borden’s certainly wasn’t above a little bit of creative photography to encourage customers to try this version….)

Louis on Flickr scanned this version of the Borden’s lemon meringue recipe, and you can find very similar ones at Hey, My Mom Used to Make That and the Gallery of Graphic Design.



  1. I fear the raw eggs would scare people away. (I did make a lemon jelly type meringue pie years ago, and it was just fabulous. It was as to a commercially made pie as a diamond is to a CZ.) I’m told there are ‘pasteurized eggs’ sold in the grocery – do they mean the Egg Beaters in the cartons?

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