These Lemon Meringue Pie Parfaits are a no-bake dessert that will be your new summer favorite! Lemon curd, graham cracker crumbs, and meringue makes the best individual treats.
Hey guys – this is my second post for Delish.com. These parfaits were super amazing. Here’s the post – click through to the recipe at the bottom!
Lemon meringue pie is a classic during the summer, when the slight tartness of lemon curd and sweetness of meringue is just the dessert you need to break the heat on a summer day. When served cold, it’s totally refreshing.
However, I’ve always found lemon meringue pies to be a little messy. If your filling isn’t firm enough, you’ll have lemon curd filling all over the place as you try to cut slices—not to mention have to deal with the stickiness of meringue. (Sticky meringue in sticky heat? No thanks.)
Thankfully, lemon meringue pie can be made into no-bake parfaits. No slicing sticky pie, making a mess with meringue, or having to serve everyone. These individual parfaits make lemon meringue pie a breeze, and who doesn’t love having their own dessert?!
This recipe does require a little bit of time by the stove with you constant whisking. You’re working with egg yolks for the lemon curd and egg whites for the meringue, and you don’t want scrambled eggs in any part of your parfaits! Consider this your arm workout for the day.
Besides the stove-side attention, this recipe is simple. The graham cracker crust takes seconds to throw together; while the lemon curd takes some time, the steps are ridiculously easy. The meringue requires a couple minutes of whisking over the stove, but your mixer does most of the work.
After all the components are made, the parfaits only need a little layering. This recipe makes four decent sized parfaits, but is doubled easily if you’re serving a crowd. Enjoy!
- ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 5 egg yolks (keep whites for meringue)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup lemon juice (about 2-3 medium lemons)
- Zest of 2 medium lemons
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- Pinch cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Set aside until needed.
- In a medium metal bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Once water is simmering, reduce heat to low and place bowl on top of saucepan. (Bowl should fit on top of saucepan without touching the water.)
- Whisk until thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes, or until mixture is pale yellow and coats the back of a spoon. (It should feel thick as you pull your whisk through it and the trail of the whisk shouldn’t disappear immediately.) Remove from heat and stir in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing each to melt before adding the next.
- Press through a fine sieve strainer, then pour strained curd into a bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap (so close it's touching the curd) and refrigerate until cool, 1 hour.
- Fill a medium saucepan with 1" water and bring water to a simmer over medium heat. In a metal bowl (use the bowl of your stand mixer if you have one), whisk together egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar. Place bowl over simmering water. and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 3½ minutes. (Test by rubbing between your fingers: there should be no grittiness from the sugar.)
- Transfer bowl to electric stand or hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
- Spoon cooled lemon curd into a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Spoon meringue into a different piping bag fitted with a star tip.
- In each of the four parfait glasses, layer the graham cracker crumbs, lemon curd, and meringue. Repeat, finishing with the meringue. Serve immediately. (If you have a kitchen torch, torch the top of the meringue to toast it!)