Ultimate lemon meringue pie

Ultimate lemon meringue pie

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(181 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 45 mins Or 40-50 mins if baking the pastry a day ahead


Serves 6 - 8
You can't go wrong with one of Angela Nilsen's ultimates and this is no exception

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal480
  • fat24g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs64g
  • sugars41g
  • fibre1g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.53g
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For the pastry

  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g cold butter, cut in small pieces



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

For the filling

  • 2 level tbsp cornflour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • finely grated zest 2 large lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 125ml fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
  • juice 1 small orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 85g butter, cut into pieces



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 3 egg yolk and a 1 whole egg

For the meringue

  • 4 egg white, room temperature
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 2 level tsp cornflour

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  1. For the pastry, put the flour, butter, icing sugar, egg yolk (save the white for the meringue) and 1 tbsp cold water into a food processor. Using the pulse button so the mix is not overworked, process until the mix starts to bind. Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gather together until smooth, then roll out and line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottom fluted flan tin. Trim and neaten the edges. Press pastry into flutes. The pastry is quite rich, so don’t worry if it cracks, just press it back together. Prick the base with a fork, line with foil, shiny side down, and chill for 1⁄2-1 hour (or overnight).

  2. Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Bake the pastry case ‘blind’ (filled with dry beans) for 15 mins, then remove the foil and bake a further 5-8 mins until the pastry is pale golden and cooked. Set aside. (Can be done a day ahead if you want to get ahead.) Lower the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.

  3. While the pastry bakes, prepare the filling: mix the cornflour, sugar and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Strain and stir in the lemon juice gradually. Make orange juice up to 200ml/7fl oz with water and strain into the pan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Once the mixture bubbles, remove from the heat and beat in the butter until melted. Beat the egg yolks (save white for meringue) and whole egg together, stir into the pan and return to a medium heat. Keep stirring vigorously for a few minutes, until the mixture thickens and plops from the spoon. (It will bubble, but doesn’t curdle.) Take off the heat and set aside while you make the meringue.

  4. Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk to soft peaks, then add half the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking between each addition without overbeating. Whisk in the cornflour, then add the rest of the sugar as before until smooth and thick. Quickly reheat the filling and pour it into the pastry case. Immediately put spoonfuls of meringue around the edge of the filling (if you start in the middle the meringue may sink), then spread so it just touches the pastry (this will anchor it and help stop it sliding). Pile the rest into the centre, spreading so it touches the surface of the hot filling (and starts to cook), then give it all a swirl. Return to the oven for 18-20 mins until the meringue is crisp and slightly coloured. Let the pie sit in the tin for 30 mins, then remove and leave for at least another 1⁄2-1 hr before slicing. Eat the same day.

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Comments (223)

Wongie8's picture

Everyone enjoyed and really refreshing. Great after Sunday roast in the garden. A bit of work but worth it

palmersuzy's picture

I made this last night for a dinner party and everyone said it was the best lemon meringue pie ever. It was lovely and light and just lemony enough. There is just one piece left which I shall have to eat to see if it can be made the day before you need it...... all in the cause of research you understand!!

rosie25's picture

Made this Lemon Meringue Pie yesterday and my husband said it's the best he's ever had.
Will be a regular in my household!!. Very lemony. Meringue wasn't so peaked as picture but tasted so good anyway.

carowe01's picture

Just brilliant, really easy to follow recipe and the results were fantastic. Makes a great spectacular desert without a crumb left at the end!

lizleicester's picture

Fabulous version of this classic pudding. I was slightly unsure about the addition of orange juice but it didn't taste "orangey" and gave the filling a wonderful rich colour. Will definitely use this recipe again (and have already passed it on).

lizleicester's picture

Definite 5 star pudding. Made mine the day before needing it but didn't do the meringue until I was ready to cook it. Wondered if the orange juice might detract from the lemon but it was just delicious and added to the rich colour of the lemon layer. (I think it would have been fine with a 3 egg white meringue).

bridge67's picture

First time I've attempted to make LMP let alone meringue and it was perfect!!

jose81's picture

Made this today with gluten free shortcrust pastry (readymade) and it was delicious. I also halved the sugar in the meringue as husband doesn't have a sweet tooth, I do, but I think it was plenty sweet enough with half the amount. Tangy filling and fluffy meringue.

squiggin's picture

Perfectly titled recipe, I've made a few different versions of this over the years but this was by far the best. The lemon filling was just the right balance of sharpness and thickened perfectly, meringue was lovely and crispy. I didn't bother waiting too long to eat it and that didn't matter. Tastes even better warm and no problems with the filling going runny. Even my two children that initially insisted they didn't like lemon meringue pie managed to 'force' a slice each down. Great recipe.

tessthecritique's picture

I made this pie for the first time the other day for a birthday meal. Making it was easy as pie. Though be careful to whip the meringue mixture properly otherwise...

gulimkosh's picture

for the 2nd time doing this cake and cannot get the meringue right - there needs to be more explanation how powerful the whisking is needed, what thickness the whites should be when they are ready.The rest is perfect, but the meringue ruins the whole tart - so frustrating. My recent one was leaking, because the meringue didnt communicate to the lemon curd. I dont know how to deal with it - I wil just give up and stick with lemon tart only.

Snigs's picture

and whisk at top speed.

Snigs's picture

the meringue should form stiff peaks which hold their shape when you take the whisk out. so basically, try tipping the bowl over and the meringue should't move. Make sure you dont over whisk it though, as soon as you reach the desired stiffness, stop! :)

hairywalker's picture

Have made many variations of lemon meringue pie but this is the best to date. Good ratio of crust/filling/topping. Used ordinary unsweetened shortcrust pastry as I felt there was enough sugar in the filling. Had no oranges so used equivalent amount of breakfast orange juice (not from concentrate).

Aylink's picture

Amazing! Be careful with the lemon zest tho.

Snigs's picture

I use either/or. Doesnt make a difference frankly...

mrsjenanderson's picture

its golden caster sugar, I buy it in morrisons or Tesco

clarkydot's picture

This desert is my favourite and this receipe is the best I've ever tasted. Many of my friends have also agreed it's the best LMP they've ever tasted. The tangy lemon is really complemented by the firm sweet meringue. Yummy!

Peony's picture

Gorgeous! Lovely short pastry, tangy filling and pillows of fluffy meringue- I've never tasted better!

clairesut57's picture

Amazing! Never made a lemon meringue pie before and this was a fantastic hit. Used 3 lemons and the yield of juice was about 100ml. Reduced the volume of orange juice to approx 150ml and the lemon curd set perfectly. I'm sure I will be making this again soon.


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