Karl’s Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Give this tangy-sweet treat a try at home
Karl's lemon meringue pie 
Karl’s lemon meringue pie

Karl’s serves up a tasty lemon meringue pie. Recreate the tangy-sweet treat from the Siren Hotel’s swanky diner with the recipe below.

How to Make Karl’s Lemon Meringue Pie 


Pie Dough

12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter 

3 cups all-purpose flour 

1 tsp. kosher salt 

1 Tbsp. sugar 

1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening 

6-8 Tbsp. (about 1/2 cup) ice water


1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup lemon juice 

1 tsp. grated lemon zest 

3 egg yolks 


3 egg whites 

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar 

1/4 cup sugar


Pie Dough

Dice butter and return to refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until butter is the size of peas. 

With the machine running, pour ice water down the feed tube and pulse machine until dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Cut dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Line a frozen pie shell with aluminum foil so that the foil extends over the edges (will make convenient handles). Fill two-thirds of the way with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and the pie weights. Poke the bottom of the crust in several places with the tines of a fork to help prevent the bottom from bubbling. 

Place the crust back in oven and bake for 15 minutes more, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside. 

Filling & Meringue

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

In a medium-sized bowl, combine milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add egg yolks and blend, then pour mixture into cooled pie crust. 

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff. Spread meringue over pie filling with a spoon, making peaks and valleys for texture. Spread to edge of the pie shell. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until meringue is golden brown. 

Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool completely to room temperature. Best eaten the same day. 

Karl’s, 1509 Broadway St., Detroit; 313-855-2757; karlsdetroit.com

This story is featured in the October 2021 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more stories in our digital edition.