Ultimate lemon meringue pie

Ultimate lemon meringue pie

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(183 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


    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 (224)

    smee555's picture

    Sorry forgot to rate it!

    smee555's picture

    I've tried this recipe a few times now and still can't get the meringue right! The mixture just stayed really runny and it wasn't that I'd over whisked it, because it never actually got to the stiff peaks stage. Any suggestions? I made one years ago from a different recipe which worked fine, though I can't remember which one it was. Other than that, it's a really tasty recipe and despite the tragic meringue still was eaten up by my housemates!

    dawnax's picture

    I tried this for the first time for a dinner party, and it was a success!
    Initially, my pastry was rather wet and the edges stuck to the aluminium foil. Thankfully, I had extra dough and did a bit of rectifying, baking the pastry for about 10 mins longer. For the filling I made sure it was almost jam-like so that it won't be runny. Everything came out perfect. Crumbly melt-in-your-mouth pastry, just-the-right-amount-of-tartness filling and crispy-on-the-outside-but-soft-on-the-inside meringue, this recipe is surely a staple! :)

    sdrecipes's picture

    I've made this several times now and it's perfect each time. Beautiful short buttery case, slightly sharp lemon filling and light topping. Everybody's favourite!

    heyles1's picture

    Haven't eaten it yet, but it is sitting in the kitchen looking very tempting. I did not use orange juice, but added another lemon as we like very tart tarts! Tasted good off the spoon. My meringue technique obviously needs a bit of work, though I have watched the video on this site. A bit flat. Overwhisking?

    scottfamily's picture

    I love this recipe!!! Can't wait to make it again! :) I made a big one and two smaller individual ones. Tasted DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!

    andrasiago's picture

    At best I could be described as an absolute amateur cook, but I do like to make desserts. I followed the instructions to the letter and got a very good lemon meringue pie!

    crystalkate100's picture

    This totally failed me -the meringue was too wet even though am practiced at meringue - and the end result was flat and sad.

    cannew's picture

    I made this yesterday and I was amazed and thrilled by how it turned out. Just thinking about how it tasted yesterday makes me want another piece now.
    I made it just as it stands for our evening meal, 2 of us, and there is plenty left for today. As an end to a family dinner or a special occasion it would be fantastic and it shows off your prowess at cooking even if, like me you are a pretty average cook

    jamieo's picture

    Wonderful thing this. Excellent recipe.

    lostkat's picture

    My first lemon meringue pie and I made the pastry too (I usually shy away because I'm rubbish at pastry). It worked PERFECTLY! The first time I've not fallen out with the pastry whilst rolling it and the first time I've had fluted edges on my base (they usually come away from the tin and round off). Filling was quite tart, but complemented beautifully by the sweet, soft meringue. Absolutely beautiful and the taste testers (my family) loved it too. No soggy bottom for my pastry either. Hurrah! This recipe is a keeper :)

    aziraphale1's picture

    This is the best lemon meringue pie I've ever tasted!!! Fantastic!

    robandsuegll@aol.com's picture

    A good recipe with lovely crispy topped meringue and well set filling. However, I did find that the pastry was a bit soggy even after baking it blind and the filling was very tart (and I speak as someone who was brought up on Sherbert Lemons!)
    I think I'll bake the pastry for longer next time and reduce the lemon juice to 100ml.
    Having said that I think it's going to be hard to keep pastry crispy with all that juicy filling and moist meringue.

    sarahb1973's picture

    This was so yummy - i put lime zest and juice in too. Everyone had seconds. I used readymade dessert pastry to cut down on the cooking/prep time. Definitely one to make again.

    jh8878's picture

    Great taste and flavour to the lemon filling and pastry, but I had problems: the meringue wasn't stiff even though it wasn't overbeaten, and the filling didn't set properly and a lot of liquid came out with the first slice. I managed to spoon out the liquid so that the rest of the pastry didn't go soggy.

    A bit annoying as I followed the recipe EXACTLY (a miracle for me!). Will try to get hold of my grandma's recipe next time I'm afraid.

    ruthparis's picture

    Like some others I cheated & bought ready rolled pastry as I am not good at pasry. I also agreed with 'Mermaid' my lemon custard filling was still runny & did not 'plop', I do think it had slightly too much liquid. Also be careful as it was too hot when i added the eggs and it cooked the white so had to sieve it. For all of this though it tasted great & will be making it again and will try making my won pastry next time.

    mrsmull2007's picture

    I baked this all in one go - i.e. i didn't prep pastry a day before. This is an excellent recipe, the first time I've made a lemon meringe pie and it turned out perfect. I'm off to a BBQ today and have been requested by the family to bring one of these alone, so I'm off to bake it again - I hope it turns out as good as the first time!

    kathleeng1's picture

    The best lemon meringue pie I have ever made, I have recommended it to everyone.

    jbuckingham's picture

    Daughter request Lemon Meringue Pie as a birthday treat. As short of time cheated slightly by using a shop-bought pastry case rather than make my own, and used juice of 2 small clementines instead of orange. Outstanding recipe!! Will definitely make this recipe again, and again!


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