Gluten Free Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on January 12, 2013

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Gluten Free Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

One of my earliest food memories is of lemon meringue pie. It was the beginning of a life-long love affair!

For years I called it Lemon Maria Pie; the pie was introduced to me by a woman who worked for us in the Philippines named – you guessed it – Maria. I thought she had invented the recipe and I thought she was a genius. I now know Maria most likely did not invent lemon meringue pie but I am still convinced she is a genius.

To this day, lemon meringue pie is one of my favorite desserts. I just eat it a little differently sometimes. Instead of a pie crust filled with lemon curd and topped with meringue, I make the pie crust out of meringue and fill it with lemon curd – upside down lemon meringue pie. I came up with this method before I had mastered making gluten free pie crust, but I still love it!

There are no fancy ingredients in this naturally gluten free dessert; just eggs (preferably pastured, organic, cage free eggs – I use Nature’s Yoke eggs), sugar (I like to use organic sugar these days), lemons (REAL lemons – don’t even think about using bottled lemon juice!) and a few pantry staples.

It takes a little time and thought to make this pie, you need to let the lemon filling cool for a couple hours and the pie crust is be st eaten the same day as it is prepared, but it is easy work and the results are SO WORTH IT!

Winter days can be dark, cold and dreary. I can’t think of a better way to let a little sunshine in than with this lovely Gluten Free Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie!

Gluten Free Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Gluten Free Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe


4 egg yolks
⅓ cup cornstarch
1½ cups water
1⅓ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 meringue pie crust – recipe follows
Finely sliced lemon slices – optional garnish


Put eggs in a medium bowl and whisk well.

In a medium saucepan, whisk to combine the cornstarch, water,  1 ⅓ cups sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add about ¼ of the hot mixture to the egg yolks. Whisk well. Add the rest of the mixture to the eggs gradually, whisking well. When all the hot mixture is added to the egg yolks, pour the mixture back into the saucepan, turn the heat to low and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly. The mixture should be thick. Take mixture off the heat and gently stir in the cold butter, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Put mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap right on the surface of the lemon mixture. Refrigerate until cold – about 2 hours.

Whip heavy cream with one teaspoon sugar until stiff peaks form but do not over mix.

Just prior to serving, pour the lemon mixture into the meringue pie crust. Top with whipped cream. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.


Serves 6 – 8

Meringue Pie Crust


2 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Spray a 9 inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very stiff and glossy. Rub a little of the mixture between your thumb and forefinger and see if the mixture feels gritty, if so continue to beat until smooth, this will mean the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and mix in well.

Spread mixture into the prepared pan forming a shell by spreading the mixture up the sides of the pie plate. Bake for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue crust in the oven for another hour. Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely.

This crust is best used the day it is baked as humidity will soften the crust. It is also preferable to fill the crust just prior to serving.


Makes 1 – 9-inch naturally gluten free pie crust

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet January 14, 2013 at 8:15 am

I grew up enjoying my Nanny’s lemon meringue pie. It was so delicious and lovingly prepared. I have never attempted it myself but I will print this out and give it a whirl :) Thanks for the recipe.

Have a beautiful day!


Carol Kicinski January 14, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Thanks Janet. What a lvely memory. I hope you have a wonderfula day as well and that you enjoy the recipe!


Alisa January 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm

This is so creative Carol!


Carol Kicinski January 18, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Thanks Alisa!


Nikki- Dysfunctional Dose January 15, 2013 at 9:30 pm

First time reader today. Found you from Wicked Good Kitch. LOVE LOVE this site. My family just made the final transition a couple weeks ago to GFCFSF. (My youngest was just diagnosed with a slew of medical issues and my middle guy decided to jump on board as well. He just started his workup.) So, I am in desperate need of recipes. There’s no turning back now. I think both if my younger kiddos already had some withdrawal symptoms. Can’t wait to try some of these :)


Carol Kicinski January 18, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Thanks Nikki. Good luck with your journey. There may be challanges but trust me, the health benefits are so worth it! Let me know if there is anyway I can help.


Zuupdesign January 18, 2013 at 12:22 am

Hello, I would like to subscribe for this website to obtain most up-to-date updates, thus where can i do it please assist.


Carol Kicinski January 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Just click in the header at the top where it says never miss a recipe.


Lorne Marr January 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Errr…not sure if men are allowed in here (I hope so!).

I love to bake. Maybe the picture of me baking is a bit ridiculous as I am an avid bodybuilder, but that’s who I am :)) Love baking meringue pies. And you know what? I’ve never thought about baking it gluten-free…shame on me.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention Carol! Keep up the good work :)


Carol Kicinski January 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Of course men are allowed! The name is SImply Gluten Free not Simply Testosterone Free! ANd may I just say, there is hardly anything more endearing than a man who cooks, except a man who bakes! Enjoy.


Amanda January 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Really enjoyed the recipe. Thanks. Next time, I might add more lemon and a little less sugar, but I love the meringue crust idea. Only problem I had was that it stuck to the dish, even though I greased it. Any thoughts about how to avoid that?


Carol Kicinski January 25, 2013 at 7:44 am

You could cut a piece of parchemnt and place on the bottom of the pan the lightly grease the parchment.


Kellie February 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm

I think these would be lovely as little individual pies for a gathering.


Carol Kicinski March 1, 2013 at 6:11 am

I agree Kellie!


Cynthia M. June 22, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Growing up one of my Mom’s friends used to always make her signature Lemon Meringue Pie with a meringue crust. Then she would puree raspberries and make a sauce and drizzle it over it. Divine.


Carol Kicinski July 1, 2013 at 8:09 am

That sounds even better! Thanks.


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Agnes November 3, 2016 at 5:48 pm

On my computer, ingredients for upside down lemon meringue pie shows ? cup cornstarch and 1? cups sugar. How much cornstarch and how much sugar should it be?


Carol Kicinski November 4, 2016 at 9:58 am

Hi Agnes, Sorry about that, it should be fixed now. But it’s 1/3 cup cornstarch and 1 1/3 cup sugar. Enjoy!


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