Ultimate lemon meringue pie

Ultimate lemon meringue pie

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(184 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 (225)

    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

    marymcginn's picture

    This didn't work out well for me, but tasted fine. I thought the pastry tasted just ok, but I'd problems with both other layers. When making the lemon sauce, I continued cooking until it was plopping from the spoon. But after the cooling and reheating it had stiffened further and was too dark in colour and very dense - I had to add more water but even so it had reduced far too much. Then, when I took the pie out of the oven it was lovely and high and golden, but the meringue collapsed a lot when cooling. I may well try making this again. Perhaps I will leave it in the oven to cool and also stop cooking the lemon mixture before it gets as thick.

    beccimcfc's picture

    really good :) just waiting for it to cool now. it took a while to thicken the filling mixture but it was worth the effort... thanks

    sergis99's picture

    forgot to rate..

    sergis99's picture

    I think that the pie was too sour... It would been much better without the zest. Anw it was really easy to make but I used a ready made pastry.

    razaraza's picture

    A great recipe although I only used 100ml of lemon juice and found the tangness was just right.

    carolinewall74's picture

    I made this for sunday dinner dessert a few weeks ago, and it was fantastic. Really easy to make too. Ive never made one before so ws a little sceptical about how it wold turn out but need'nt have worried as it got h thumbs up from everyone. I did reduce the amount of cornflour in the meringue as suggested in another review and had the most impressive mountain of meringue on the top!!! I'm making it again tomorrow for Fathers Day...what can I say..Back by popular demand!!

    jogosden's picture

    It was lovely. Everybody loved it and I look like a pro!!!

    laurahines's picture

    It was my first attempt to cook a lemon meringue and Iam very happy with the result! The step by step explained recipe was very helpful and the taste was supreme. I can't wait to make it again

    laurahines's picture

    It was my first attempt to cook a lemon meringue and Iam very happy with the result! The step by step explained recipe was very helpful and the taste was supreme. I can't wait to make it again

    steeperja's picture

    I also added the rind of one orange to the filling. the taste was fantastic!

    rcarnell's picture

    This recipe is not a good recipe the first disaster I have had in years and off the good food website! It is extremely wasteful on the number of eggs used for the size the case it says to use. I followed the recipe and the pastry and filling were fine. However, the meringue was not fine. It just wouldn't cook there was so much meringue for such a small flan case. The merinuge flopped, I have no doubt it is not me but the recipe, especially since this has been remarked on by other people who have commented. I tried making my mum's recipe and it turned out perfectly, I feel assured it wasn't me at fault but a dodgy recipe.

    ncsh556's picture

    first time ever making LMP. perfect! cheated and used frozen pastry though. have bought a pastry dish especially as i shall be making it lots in the future.

    wendy987's picture

    Simple to make, looks fabulous and tastes divine!!

    weetabix's picture

    Absolutely gorgeous!! This is one of my favourite deserts. The fluffy meringue is a heavenly combination with the zingy lemon sauce and the short pastry. It worked so well! Be prepared as the lemon sauce is extremely citrusy. If you don't like it like that add less lemon zest, but i loved it! I think that the lemon sauce really made it for me!! Great!

    krissyb's picture

    This was my first attempt at making a meringue of any sort and it turned out perfectly! I have to admit that I did cheat and use shop brought pastry though! My mother in law came round for lunch and declared it the best lemon meringue pie she had ever tasted - absolutely stunning!

    berrya's picture

    Once I made this pie but forgot to put in the orange juice. Wow!!!!! that gets your testebuds working. I only put half the orange in now and it gives the lemon an extra Zing!!!!!


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