Ultimate lemon meringue pie on a cake stand

Ultimate lemon meringue pie

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(287 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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    20th Mar, 2016
    Use white castor sugar instead. Also, one of the reasons the meringue does loft as well is the castor sugar is a small crystal and it's the crystals that cut the cells of the whites and aerates it.
    Carol C's picture
    Carol C
    30th Dec, 2015
    Awful recipe the lemon filling is like soup and the pastry was far too dry. I used this recipe based on the good reviews.I just wasted a lot of expensive ingredients!
    20th Mar, 2016
    Soupy custard just means you need to cook it longer to thicken. Dry crust means you over-handled it. You just need more practice.
    10th Dec, 2015
    I decided on this recipe because of the high reviews and told my partner I was making him a big surprise. I followed the recipe to the letter. My first attempt was a bit of a disappointment. The meringue was flat, the pastry was so hard to work with and so delicate, and there was a puddle of sticky syrup on the serving plate after I made it. But it tasted so good! So, being a Yorkshire lass I didn't give up and yesterday attempted this again. Well, I hate to sound negative but, it was a disaster. 3 attempts at the pastry (I ended up adding water in the end and chilled in BEFORE rolling out) but it still failed to contain the lemon filling as it crumbled as soon as I removed it from the tin. Another sad looking meringue and it again leaked all that sugary syrup. What am I doing wrong? Im following to the letter. Don't get me wrong it tasts gorgeous, it just ends up looking horrible. All that work and washing up! And to top it off a kiss on the forehead and the comment " at least it tastes good love" from my fella as I present my lemon puddle makes me want to scream. Well done if it worked for you.
    20th Mar, 2016
    Okay, you need to add more water at the dough stage; a teaspoon at a time, until when you gently squeeze it, it comes together. Form into a ball, wrap tightly in cellophane; flatten into a disk shape and chill. The meringue will be flat for a few reasons. But mostly importantly you really have to whip it until soft peaks form; anything less and nothing will bind. Then only add the sugar (not that blasted starch) until the end.
    21st Jan, 2016
    Agreed with the pastry -- I've had mixed success (other times the base was leaky and I'd gotten the same sticky syrup that you did)...I've heard that brushing the pastry base with egg white helps to seal it? As for the meringue, how long did you whisk it for? For the meringue, I opted not to add cornflour, just whisked the egg whites with sugar and a bit of cream of tartar until stiff peaks formed and it turned out OK.
    20th Mar, 2016
    Good for you. Two tablespoons of corn starch is the kiss of death. Or cheap tasting diner pie.You're right about the egg white wash; it does seal. But you have to add approximately two more tablespoons of water to get the pastry to bind. It depends on how much moisture the butter has in it as well. Salted or unsalted--that sort of thing.
    19th Oct, 2015
    I never used to like lemon meringue pie, but this has converted me it's absolutely delicious! It does take a bit of time, but well worth it.. made it yesterday and the hubby and I have demolished over half of it already after him moaning at me since I made thelast one to make another one.. it's a bit like eating a cloud, it all just melts in the mouth in a lovely cloud of lemoness. Well, he's not back from work yet do you think he'd notice if I ate a bit more of it! 101% recommended :)
    23rd Apr, 2015
    AMAZING!! i made this for the family one night 2 months ago and now every time i have a day off they beg me to make this again everybody loves this. I have to make one change and thats to the base because i have to make everything gluten free but it still tastes awesome. Would recommend this to anybody!
    22nd Mar, 2015
    Very tasty and pretty easy to make. Not having an electric whisk or food processor I did it all by hand. I think it turned out great and my husband and father in law agree! The only thing I changed was to add a bit of lemon extract to the curd to make it extra lemony :)


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