Lemon Meringue Pie

This lemon meringue pie is a true family favourite and was one of the first pies I ever baked. The filling is very easy to make from scratch. It gives a mixture that is both creamy and full of zingy lemon flavour to complement the sweetness of the meringue on top.

Lemon Meringue Pie

4 –6 servings
  • Preparation time: About 45 minutes
  • Standing time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 55 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the shortcrust pastry
  • 170 g (6 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1⅓ cups)
  • pinch of salt
  • 40 g (1½ oz) butter, cut into cubes (3 tbsp, or ⅜ stick)
  • 40 g (1½ oz) lard, cut into cubes (3 tbsp)
  • about 2 tbsp cold water

  • For the filling
  • 3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) water (⅔ cup)
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 115 g (4 oz) granulated sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 egg yolks, reserve the whites for the meringue
  • For the meringue
  • 2 egg whites
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)


  • You will also need an 18 cm (7 inch) round deep pie plate with rim and a baking tray/sheet.

  • Method
  • For the pastry
  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

  • Rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs. This can be done by hand or in a food processor.

  • Sprinkle the water evenly over the surface (if it is not sprinkled evenly it can cause blistering when the pastry is cooked). Start bringing the dough together using a pallet knife until it starts clumping. Then knead the dough until it is smooth. Pop in a plastic food bag and refrigerate to rest for 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).

  • Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface to a thickness of 6mm (¼ inch) and 5cm (2 inches) larger than the pie plate.

  • Now cut a 1.25cm (½ inch) strip from around the edge of the pastry. Dampen the rim of the pie plate with water and then use the strip to cover the rim, pressing it down.

  • Next dampen the strip of pastry. Then line the pie plate with the remaining pastry, gently pressing it down into the pie plate and around the rim to make sure no air is trapped but being careful not to stretch the pastry.

  • Remove any excess pastry from around the edge of the rim and prick the base of the pastry with a fork.

  • Bake blind for 15 minutes.

  • Carefully remove the paper and baking beans, and return the pastry to the oven for a further 5–10 minutes until it is cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  • Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) (gas 2) and place a baking tray/sheet in the oven.

  • For the filling
  • While the pastry is cooking, the filling can be prepared. Mix the cornflour with the water in a saucepan. Then stir in the zest and juice of the lemons. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring, until the mixture thickens.

  • Now reduce the temperature to medium and add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved. Remove from the heat, cool the mixture for a couple of minutes.

  • Beat in the egg yolks. Set aside.

  • For the meringue
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff.

  • Then gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

  • To finish
  • The pastry case can either be left in the pie plate or carefully removed. Place the pie plate or the pastry case only on the warmed baking tray/sheet.

  • Now pour the lemon filling into the pastry case and level the surface.

  • Pile the meringue on top, making sure it completely covers the filling. Finally pull the meringue up into peaks using the tip of a knife.

  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. The meringue will be crisp and lightly browned on the outside but still soft on the inside.

  • It can be served warm or cold. If it is to be served warm, let it rest for 20 minutes after taking it out of the oven before slicing into portions.
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Updated: February 20, 2020

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