This lemon meringue pie recipe is a showstopping dessert they’ll never forget! Just like my no bake lemon cheesecake recipe, it’s perfect for dinner parties and tastes so freakin’ GOOD! With the traditional shortcrust pastry case, lemon curd filling and meringue topping, this is a dessert recipe that is absolutely worth the extra effort!
Lemon desserts are something I’ve always opted for over other choices. I’m not sure what it is. Lemon is just so refreshing and flavourful. From lemon traybakes to lemon cream crumble bars, I can’t say no! And let’s be honest, lemon meringue pie is the KING of all lemon desserts.
Quite frankly, I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get a lemon meringue pie recipe up on Kitchen Mason. I mean, it is one of my all time favourites!
I admit, it’s not without it’s potential pit falls. After making it myself, I realised that there is rather a lot that can wrong with a lemon meringue pie. There’s soggy bottoms, runny fillings and weeping meringues to battle here!
But don’t panic! I’m here for you and we’re gonna nail it together. In this post, I’ve put together a whole heap of ingredients advice, tips, troubleshooting, step by step pictures and anything else I could think of that might help you. So let’s get stuck right in…
That makes it all seem rather simple doesn’t it? Yes, there are things that can go wrong but no, it’s not as difficult as you may think. If you read through this whole post through, you will have all the knowledge you need to make a great lemon meringue pie. I promise!
If it makes you feel better, I had problems with mine. I can even see it in my photos… BUT, did it still look great? Yes. Did it still taste great? YES! And did I learn from my mistakes so I know exactly how to get it right next time and how to help you to make it too? Absolutely.
Most recipes recommend chilling for 2-4 hours before slicing and serving. I quite like mine warm, but I would still leave it to cool before attempting to slice or things will get messy! That being said, unless you’re baking it to a crisp, homemade meringue doesn’t really keep very well for long periods of time. Especially when in contact with something moist like lemon curd. For that reason, I would say not to make it in advance. I think making it on the day would be best. (That way you get to enjoy fluffy crispy topped meringue at it’s best, YUM!!)
As I’ve said before, there’s quite a bit that can go potentially wrong when making a lemon meringue pie. Here are some helpful pointers so you can get it right first time…
I like to store any remaining lemon curd in a bowl (covered) in the fridge. It should last for a good 3-4 days and can be used for many things. You can enjoy it on toast, make some lemon curd tarts or spread on baked leftover meringue!
As for any spare meringue? I dolloped 10cm blobs of it onto a lined baking tray and baked them in a 100°C oven for about 1 hour until crisp. I highly recommend spreading some lemon curd onto a meringue and topping it with squirty cream. OH MY LIFE it’s good!
Here is what you will need to serve 6.
(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)
For the Pastry
For the Lemon Filling
For the Meringue
Weigh out the flour (200g | 1 + 1/2 Cups), butter (100g | 1/2 Cup) and salt (good pinch) into a large mixing bowl and rub the mixture together between your forefingers and thumbs. Keep going until it resembles fine crumbs.
Beat the egg (x 1) into a small glass or bowl then add approximately 3/4 of it to the pastry. (Save the rest, we’re going to need it for brushing later.)
Now give it a good mix to bring it all together. If your dough is still a little crumbly, add tablespoons of cold water (one at a time! Remember, you can always add more but you can’t take it out.) until it holds together.
Then bring it together into a ball, flatten into a disc and wrap in cling film. This next bit is important – place it in the fridge and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. (This will help to stop it from shrinking when we put it in the oven later.)
Now your shortcrust pastry dough has rested it’s time to roll it out. Between two sheets of cling film, roll it out to approx 2-3mm thick with a rolling pin.
Peel off a layer of cling film then gently lower it, pastry side down/cling film side up, into your tart tin. Gently press it into the sides of the tin ensuring there are no trapped air bubbles underneath.
Next, roll your rolling pin over the top to cut off any excess pastry then peel off the cling film and prick the base all over with a fork. Place it into the fridge to chill while you preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 170°C.
When the oven is preheated, scrunch up a large sheet of baking paper and place it on top of the pastry. Fill it with baking beans or coins and bake for 15 mins. (This is called blind baking.)
Then take it out the oven and carefully remove the beans and baking paper.
Using a pastry brush, it’s now time to brush it all over with the beaten egg we saved earlier. Make sure you get right into every nook and cranny.
Now pop it back into the oven for another 10-12 mins until it’s a lovely golden brown colour.
Congratulations – you just made an epic shortcrust pastry case! Now leave it to one side to cool completely while you make the filling.
Reduce the temperature of your oven to 170°C/Fan 160°C.
In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice (120ml | 1/2 Cup), lemon zest (2 tbsp) and cornflour until it makes a creamy looking liquid. Leave it to one side.
In another bowl, mix together the caster sugar (225g | 1 + 1/8 Cup), and egg yolks (x 3). It will look lumpy but that’s ok, don’t worry.
Next, add the water (360ml | 1 + 1/2 Cups) to a medium sized saucepan and bring it to the boil.
Now add the lemon and cornflour mixture to the boiling water and stir quite vigorously. It should thicken very quickly. Keep stirring for a minute until it’s nice and smooth then take off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Once it’s cooled a little, add 1 tbsp at a time of the curd into the sugar/egg yolks. Be patient here or you could cook the egg yolks!
Mixing well after each addition, continue to add tablespoons until about two thirds of it has been added.
At that point, add the whole mixture back into the pan and mix thoroughly.
Keep mixing until the curd is thick (it won’t take long) then pour it into the pastry base and smooth it out.
Leave it at room temperature while we make the meringue. (Do NOT put it in the fridge.)
Add the egg whites (x 3) and cream of tartar (1/4 tsp) into the bowl of an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment on. (Alternatively you can use a large mixing bowl and an electric hand whisk.)
Whisk the mixture on high until it becomes very frothy.
With the mixer still going, about 1 tbsp at a time/approx 20 seconds or so apart, slowly add in the sugar (75g | 1/3 Cup) until it’s all used.
It should be getting thicker and shinier now. At which point, add in the vanilla (1/2 tsp).
Now you need to keep a very close eye on it. You want to JUST reach the stiff peaks stage (where you can turn the bowl upside down and the meringue will stay in the bowl) but you don’t want to overwhisk it. If you do, the meringue will seep water and deflate after being baked. This has happened to me and it can be so disappointing!
Remember, you can stop it as many times as you want to check but, once you’ve overwhisked it, there’s no going back.
Now your meringue is ready it’s time to spoon it onto the curd. Be as generous as you like here but make sure your meringue goes right to the edge of the pie so it completely covers the lemon curd filling.
Now place it into the oven (which should be at 170°C/Fan 160°C) and bake for about 15-20 minutes until the top is a light golden colour.
It should be looking pretty spectacular right about now!
Now leave it to cool for a minimum of 1 hour before serving. Once cool, you can serve straight away or chill it for 4-6 hours if you like. I prefer the texture of the meringue without being refrigerated though if I’m honest.
And there you have it! A glorious lemon meringue pie that you can fill your face with. Beautiful isn’t it?!
Will this gloriously delicious lemon meringue pie be making it’s way into your home? I’d love to know if it is! Send me your pics and comments on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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As featured on Julia’s Simply Southern Meal Plan Monday #209