Ultimate lemon meringue pie on a cake stand

Ultimate lemon meringue pie

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(216 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 yolks and a 1 whole egg

    For the meringue

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


    1. For the pastry, put 175g plain flour, 100g cold butter, cut into small pieces, 1 tbsp icing sugar, 1 egg yolk (save the white for the meringue) and 1 tbsp cold water into a food processor.

    2. Using the pulse button so the mix is not overworked, process until the mix starts to bind.

    3. 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.

    4. 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).

    5. 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.

    6. Set aside. Can be done a day ahead if you want to get ahead. Lower the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.

    7. While the pastry bakes, prepare the filling: mix 2 level tbsp cornflour, 100g golden caster sugar and finely grated zest of 2 large lemons in a medium saucepan. Strain and stir in 125ml lemon juice gradually.

    8. Make the juice of 1 small orange up to 200ml with water and strain into the pan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. 

    9. Once the mixture bubbles, remove from the heat and beat in 85g butter until melted. Beat 3 egg yolks (save white for meringue) and 1 whole egg together, stir into the pan and return to a medium heat.

    10. 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. 

    11. Put 4 egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk to soft peaks, then add 100g of the golden caster sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking between each addition without overbeating.

    12. Whisk in 2 level tsp cornflour, then add the remaining 100g of the golden caster sugar as before until smooth and thick. 

    13. 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).

    14. 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.

    15. 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, questions and tips

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    Clare Horwood's picture
    Clare Horwood
    27th Oct, 2018
    I’ve never made a lemon meringue or pastry before and I had no problems what so ever with this recipe. Not sure what all the problems are for everyone else, but didn’t take long at all and I mixed by hand. My kids made the filling, again no problems. This is a great recipe. Thanks
    LANI's picture
    3rd Oct, 2018
    It took me at least 3 hours to make the pastry. The mixture was hard to work with and too crumbly, I struggled to lay it in the tin and ended up pressing it with my hands. The bottom of the pastry cracked, therefore, I recommend adding another layer. Or using a different recipe or storebought pastry. Although it was very difficult to work with it turned out well and tasted nice. The filling took too long to thicken, 2 tsp is not enough. Recommend adding way more to speed up the process. Other than that it turned out well and was the pie was very delicious.
    Clare Horwood's picture
    Clare Horwood
    27th Oct, 2018
    The filling is 2tbsp of cornflour, not 2tsp. Maybe that’s why yours didn’t thicken
    Tam McGowan's picture
    Tam McGowan
    16th Jun, 2018
    No problem at all with the recipe, I omitted the cornflour in the meringue (not needed) and I used 6 large eggs, 3 Tbsp cornflour and 5 lemons inc the rind for the filling. I made approximately 1.5 times the pastry ingredients as I have a large flan dish. Egg washed and blind baked the case.
    Donna M G
    29th May, 2018
    I made this this afternoon and it turned out very well I think! My family thought so anyway..lol I wish I could attach a photo of the end result!
    31st Mar, 2018
    I spent 2 hrs trying to make the pastry alone. Complete nightmare. I am a avid baker and this is the worst pastry I've ever tried to work with let alone bake. I tried rolling from chilled and it made no difference. I can't not comment on the filling as I didn't get that far.
    Elliot Hodges's picture
    Elliot Hodges
    27th Mar, 2018
    ah proper nice this like
    6th Aug, 2017
    Tried this recipe a couple of days ago and I'm making it again right now. It's simply the best and super easy!
    23rd Jul, 2017
    I made this yesterday for the first time. It turned out super yummy and pretty, but here some comments / changes that might be of help. First, it takes quite some time to go over all the steps, so keep your afternoon free for it. Pastry is a bit meh for my taste, but i can see how it works with the recipe when all is set. It is rather crumbly and I found it way too hard to work with, so I had to chill it before i rolled it out. Lemon curd worked out fine, i used exact amounts of lemon, and a big orange so only added a tiny bit of water. As with other comments in this thread, it felt like I had to cook it rather long to firm up, but in the end it was the right consistency, no runny at all. Strong lemony taste too! Merengue was easy to prepare when followed the recipe, although i think it was a bit too sweet. Makes a good contrast with the lemon curd though. One thing i found can be improved is using a smaller dish to have a thicker base and increasing the recipe for the lemon curd by a third. In my opinion, the ratio of lemon curd-to-meringue would then be more balanced as the meringue is pretty rich and much as is.
    14th May, 2017
    Pastry was spot on. My lemon filling was a bit runny. Having read all the comments below, I'll cook it longer to thicken it next time, or add a little more cornflour? Golden caster sugar seemed to work, but I think I'll go for white next time. Anyway, it was delicious!


    4th Sep, 2016
    I'm gluten free, can you recommend how to alter the pastry recipe ?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    8th Sep, 2016
    Thanks for your question. We have not tested a gluten-free version of this recipe so cannot give you a specific swap but we do have a number of gluten-free bakes, which may help if you'd like to give it go. Hope that helps.
    Carol C's picture
    Carol C
    29th Dec, 2015
    Is the recipe correct?I made this today the pastry came out okish although very dry and crackly. I added a few extra drops of water to it prior to rolling, but the filling was far too thin the meringue came away from the sides after re-baking and looked like an island floating on the top of a lemon puddle. I am hoping it sets in the fridge else I will be using a spoon not a knife to serve it. I doubt I will be using this recipe again. I am a novice cook but I think its the fault of the recipe in this case not the cook.
    geneticcrazybaker's picture
    26th Oct, 2015
    Can I use less sugar in my meringue? I don't want it to be too sweet. Will it affect the consistency of my meringue?
    21st Feb, 2015
    Hi i tried this lemon meringue andt it was really good. I habe a problem when it comes to the pastry. it cracks alot so today i decided to buy the pastry ready. How much do you think i should buy pls?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    2nd Mar, 2015
    Hi cheflulu, thanks for getting in touch. We haven't tested this recipe using ready made pastry so cannot guarantee perfect results but would suggest you use a 320g pack of ready rolled shortcrust pastry. Let us know how you get on.
    30th Aug, 2013
    Hi, it says you can pre-bake the pastry base, just wondering how to store it until you are going to use it? I'm doing the base today and the rest tomorrow, so need to store it overnight. Thanks.
    Elliot Hodges's picture
    Elliot Hodges
    27th Mar, 2018
    4th Oct, 2016
    Many tears ago I had the Readers Digest 'The Cookery Year', which instructed us to sprinkle the meringue with caster sugar before returning to the oven to cook the meringue. The crispness is amazing. Try it!
    2nd Mar, 2014
    This was my 1st try at this recipe and I added extra sugar to the lemon filling as the lemons were very tart. For those who have problems with the meringue I follow the Delia meringue tips in her book 1 how to cook. Namely 2 mins at a low speed till just slightly frothy increasing to medium speed adding the sugar as stated in the recipe. The higher speed made the meringue just right. Took appx 5 mins all in. I baked this at 150 degrees for appx an hour for a more marshmallowy topping. It was delish : )