Ultimate lemon meringue pie

Ultimate lemon meringue pie

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(188 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 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, questions and tips

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    30th Aug, 2012
    I made this as a treat for the weekend and everbody thought it was great!! I will definitely be making this again. The only thing I found was it needed a little longer in oven at the end to make the meringue topping as crispy as I liked...
    1st Aug, 2012
    Not bad but I would suggest adding less lemon and blind baking the pastry for a little bit less time. I also infused the curd with a tiny bit of thyme and that worked really well.
    20th Jul, 2012
    This was a delicious pie and a perfect recipe, but just a WARNING, my meringue quickly burned in my hot gas oven. Keep an eye on the temperature folks!
    10th Jul, 2012
    So pleased with the result, and I will certainly be making again. I found 3 egg whites and 150g of sugar to be enough, as I already had the 3 egg whites left, it seemed a shame to use a further egg. The only slight problem was that when I heated the filling there were small strands of egg white in the mix, maybe I didn't incorporate well enough when mixing. I just passed it through a sieve and it was perfect, just enough sharpness to counteract the meringue.
    5th Jul, 2012
    I made this today and it was so good! The pastry was quite fiddly but I always find it is, and I ended up having to put the egg whites into the kenwood food mixer as the handheld electric whisk was taking too long, but other than that it tasted great and was just the kind of quality you would expect from one you would buy out - but homemade is always more appreciated!
    30th Jun, 2012
    I was a little nervous about this recipe as it seemed a bit complicated when I first read it. However, it turned out to be so easy and enjoyable to make! It was an absolute triumph and the meringue looked amazing! This will definately be a dinner party regular.
    27th May, 2012
    fab u lous... dont make if ur on a diet!!! will make again ..earlier in the day as it needs to be cold to remove successfully from the tin
    22nd May, 2012
    This must be one of The Best puds ever! I usually use condensed milk in the filling so this one is a bit different for me (although I'm sure is more traditional). A joy to make. Tip: make two at once coz it won't last long :) Absolute heaven on a plate - if in doubt do give this recipe a go, it is designed beautifully and works a treat. Yuuum!
    19th May, 2012
    Excellent recipe, my meringue was perfect for once!
    1st May, 2012
    I often make lemon meringue pie and thought it was worth trying a new recipe for a change, especially since this is so highly rated. This was a definite error. The filling would not thicken despite more than doubling the amount of cornflour and giving it over a half hour. At this point half the liquid was gone but the consistency was still nowhere near what it should have been. The whole lot went down the drain. The pastry is now in the fridge, waiting to be filled tomorrow with my old, reliable recipe...


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