Ultimate lemon meringue pie on a cake stand

Ultimate lemon meringue pie

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(290 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 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…

    • 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 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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    Eloise_May's picture
    2nd Aug, 2020
    Amazing recipe! Came out just right. It’s supposed to be very sweet so don’t make it if you don’t like those things, it’s also always going to be a bit of a faff, any lemon meringue pie recipe is, but it is WORTH IT. Follow the advice about turning the oven temperature right down in the last step, and sprinkle caster sugar on the meringue after putting it on top, it comes out extra crispy. Also, you may need a little more cornflour for the filling and a slightly higher heat. I don’t get the negative comments, it can sometimes be to do with oven, systematic error or random error or just chance.
    chris harvey's picture
    chris harvey
    19th Jul, 2020
    Remember. TURN THE OVEN DOWN for the final stage. It would have been good to remind people to turn down the oven for the merengue cooking. After two hours of cooking and no mention at stage 15 to turn down the oven as mentioned two hours earlier at stage One I of course left the oven at 200 and destroyed the merengue.... Which doesn't exactly encourage new cooks to keep trying...
    27th Jun, 2020
    Waaay too sweet! Reduce the sugar in the curd.
    Georgia Matthews's picture
    Georgia Matthews
    21st Jun, 2020
    Step 7 is very vague, I tried twice to make the filling and I followed the recipe exactly and it failed both times. There needs to be more detail as to what temperature to heat the filling at, more than just 'A medium heat'. I now an empty pie case and nothing to fill it with.
    20th Jun, 2020
    I made a biscuit and coconut base rather than faff with the pastry. The lemon filling was lovely but I didn’t feel that it made enough. Next time I make it, I’ll do 50% more or even double the lemon filling.
    9th Jun, 2020
    Don't really understand the negative comments about this recipe, mine came out perfect. Kept it in the fridge and tasted even better the next day!
    Alice Weightman's picture
    Alice Weightman
    5th Jun, 2020
    Made this on a Friday evening ready for a Saturday dinner party. Shame that the very last thing in the instructions is ‘way the same day’! Surely something you should highlight right at the beginning!!
    25th May, 2020
    This recipe is good, I had to add some water to my pastry because it was too dry. The pastry was very flimsy but only broke once and is very nice. I added some more cornflour to the lemon curd because it was thickening quick enough. Overall a very good recipe!
    25th Apr, 2020
    This recipe is a nightmare, the pastry is way to flimsy and falls apart everytime you try to even get it in the case, when it is cooking it cracks everywhere. And way to much sugar in the meringue. Will be looking for a different recipe next time.
    Sazzy926's picture
    15th Apr, 2020
    Substituted the pastry base with a biscuit base but kept the filling and meringue to the recipe. Delicious!


    Michaela Parry's picture
    Michaela Parry
    31st Dec, 2019
    After baking the pie for 18-20 mins, it says to let the pie sit in the tin for 30 mins...is that in the oven or do you take it out?? Meringue recipes usually say leave it in the oven! It’s in now and don’t want to go wrong at the last hurdle! Looking great so far!
    lulu_grimes's picture
    6th Jan, 2020
    Hello Michaela, It means out of the oven, how did it work out for you?
    Niamh Hull's picture
    Niamh Hull
    2nd Jul, 2019
    Can the lemon curb be stored and re-heated another time?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    2nd Jul, 2019
    Thanks for your question. Yes, you can make the filling up to two days in advance. Store in the fridge and reheat. If you're looking for a lemon curd recipe, you'll find one here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/lemon-curd
    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.
    Marc Pullen's picture
    Marc Pullen
    5th Jul, 2019
    Definitely a fault of the cook - measurements work fine every time - the meringue coming away from the side is because your filling wasn't hot enough when you put the meringue on top - make a circle of meringue on top of hot filling and push it to the crust then fill the middle, never had a floating island and made this over 20 times - and always comes out perfect with a knife.
    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?


    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 : )
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