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)

nurseanna's picture

I made this pie today and it is lovely. I used carton orange juice which was fine and also I used flour instead of cornflour as I didn't have any and my village shop had run out! The pie was lovely and tangy and the pastry divine. My pie didn't look as good as the picture as the meringue wasn't as stiff as it might have been. Perhaps I over whisked it? The recipe makes a good-sized pie and I will definitely make it again even though there was loads of washing up by the time I had finished cooking!

dgodber's picture

This is a good recipe (the pastry, filling and meringue were all perfect before cooking) ...however:

When assembling the dessert and reheating the lemon filling, I don't think the recipe gives enough guidance about how hot the lemon should be. I now know that it has to be piping hot so that it starts to cook the underside of the meringue. I didn't realise at the time and so the meringue started weeping and my pastry ended up slightly soggy.

It tasted very nice and I'll give it another go at some point.

justplainzo's picture

Oh no! Where did I go wrong? I've made lemon meringue pie a few times, one time in particular it was absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately I lost that recipe, so chose to do this one tonight for a dinner party since it got such great reviews. Total disaster! The curd wouldn't thicken properly, the meringue wasn't thick enough and barely covered the top of the pie. I cooked it, hoping for the best and it has come out, cooled and the curd is still runny and too sharp in flavour. The meringue isn't the right consistency at all either.
So disappointed! I wish I could find my other recipe...

carleendickinson's picture

absolutely fabulous. When it says ultimate its so true. I make lemon meringue often and my dad said this was the best he's ever tasted. Wants me to make him one for himself! However i would not put all that butter in the lemon mixture next time i dont think it needs it. I made double quantities for a 12 flan tin. certainly not for anyone on a diet!

dwalker11's picture

Made this for a family occasion - everyone loved it! Really lemony and perfect consistency. I would definitely make it again.

raqwilkinson's picture

I recently made some delicious tangy lemon curd - does anyone know if I could use this for the filling?? Don't see why it shouldn't work, but not sure about heating it up to bake the meringue?

ang_hee's picture

Absolutely wonderful recipe and the results are even better! Don't be put off with what I'm about to say but it is time consuming and you've to wait a good while after it's baked before you can eat it to allow it to cool. Saying that it was my first time making it so I hope that the time to table will decrease. It is worthwhile making the pastry the day before as suggested. Superb taste, everyone wanted seconds and some wanted thirds! It's true that it tastes best on the day of baking but found that the small bit that did survive till the next day was still ok if not perfect. I will make this recipe again.

smartimarti's picture

This recipe has to be awarded for taste, looks and delivery of recipe cos it does exactly what it says on the tin.. i have made this particular recipe 3 times now and it delivers every time, the addition of orange is just lovely as it keeps the taste very fresh and citrus without being to sharp! the pastry is easy and melts in your mouth, i make mine in the processor and add the butter, icing sugar, egg yolk and water (hot) to create a wet paste, then adding the flour last. i make all my short pastry this way and it is always melting in the mouth... whether i make 1lb or 4kg at a time. throw any recipe you have for LMP, and keep this and pass it on to avid cooks and friends it's definately a winner ...well done good food!

siobhanm's picture

Absolutely fabulous!

ajd333's picture

No need to worry about the left over's or even washing the bowls! First time making a lemon meringue pie for me. I had no idea what to expect as I've never even eaten one before ... amazing result. Everyone wanted seconds. Easy to follow recipe (although I substituted a few things) and it turned out perfect first time!

nikkicooks's picture

This pie was absolutely delicious. I've disliked lemon meringue ever since it was served to me as part of school dinners but I decided to make this for my husband as it was a childhood favourite of his. What can I say? It was lovely - I'm a convert.

I did make a few changes to the recipe though. I only used 75g of sugar in the meringue and it was still sweet enough for us. I also only used one lemon, next time I will leave out the zest as I am not too keen on lemony things.

This was the first time I have made a meringue anything and it won't be my last.

sarahcatchlove's picture

"Can we have Lemon Meringue Pie for pudding?" My "oh yes" reply disguised my panic as I had not made one before. Thankfully your recipe was really easy to follow and the results were gorgeous. We ate it hot as no one could wait for it to cool down!

jponter's picture

Fantastic , tasted wonderful!

xlilly's picture

Tasted superb! The meringue didn't go as crisp as I wanted but I think that was more my fault than the recipe's. Definitely a keeper

samanthareid's picture

Help my eggs curdled and I had small bits of cooked egg in my filling. What did I do wrong

djmcnae's picture

My pie did not look as impressive as the picture (think I over beat the egg whites) but it tasted fab and seconds were had by my hubby (praise indeed) and my kids! Will make again.

london86's picture

this is really good, instead of using meringue i used double cream, i know i wasnt gona finish it all and it will end up the fridge, i dont like meringue after its refrigerated so i used double cream, still yummm

aturnb1022's picture

Made this today and it was delicious. I'll definitely be making this again.

timmytimetocook's picture

This was the first time i cooked this and it was a triumph! Pastry was perfect as was the lemon filling! Highly recommended and not that difficult to make.

annasmt's picture

i've made it quite a few times and it always turned out perfect


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