This classic lemon meringue pie is a perfect combination of flavours and textures. Sweet and buttery pastry filled with creamy, tangy filling topped with fluffy Italian meringue. Perfect treat for any gathering with friends or family!
Welcome to first post in February! I’m so happy that January is finally over, and all the good things are just around the corner and ahead of us!
Citrus season is in full swing, and I couldn’t be happier about it! Beautiful blood oranges, clementines, satsumas, bergamots and lemons are all at their peak now, and it’s only fair to put them all into some good use!
So let’s start with one of my all- time favourite recipes- classic lemon meringue pie!
Classic lemon meringue pie
If you followed me for long enough on my Instagram page, you may already be familiar with this lemon meringue pie. Because it’s been appearing on my feed regularly, and it always receives heaps of love. So it’s about time to share this recipe with all of you!
What I love most about this pie is the marriage of the flavours and textures. There is sweet, buttery shortcrust pastry, sharp and tangy, creamy lemon- flavour filling and delicious, fluffy meringue to top it all off.
What’s so great about this recipe?
- Simple ingredients
- Relatively easy technique
- It can be prepared well in advance
- Perfect to serve at any informal gathering with family and friends, but also fit and effective enough to be a centerpiece for special occasions
Ingredients to make lemon meringue recipe
There are 3 different parts of this recipe, but don’t let it intimidate you! Each one of the is super easy and can be prepared even by the less experienced bakers.
Firstly, we have sweet, shortcrust pastry. It is made with flour, some icing sugar, butter, eggs and egg yolks and some ice cold water. Now, if the thought of making your own shortcrust pastry intimidates you a bit, simply opt in for a shop- bought, ready- rolled pastry.
Secondly, we have the lemon filling. For this, we will be using juice and zest of lemons, eggs, cream and caster sugar.
Last but not least is the Italian meringue. Made simply with egg whites and sugar syrup. If you are not comfortable with making the Italian meringue, you can simply swap it for traditional French meringue.
How to make this lemon meringue pie in 3 easy steps
Step 1- make pastry
Simply mix all of the ingredients and bring it all together. Roll into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap in some clingfilm and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can also chill it in the fridge overnight.
When you are ready, take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it on a lightly floured surface into a thickness of £1 coin. You want to roll it into a rough circle, bigger than your baking tin. It needs to be big enough to cover the bottom and the sides of your tin fully. Trim any overhang/ excess pastry with a knife or by simply rolling your pin over the top of the tin. Prick the base with fork and place back in the fridge for 25- 30 minutes.
Step 2- prepare the filling
While the pastry is chilling, make the filling. Beat all of the ingredients apart from the lemon zest. Sieve them and then add the zest. Set it aside.
Heat the oven and bake the pastry as per the recipe instructions. Pour in the filling and bake for another 30 minutes until the lemon mixture is just set.
Step 3- make the meringue
Once the pie has cooled down, prepare the meringue. Use your mixer to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks. Make the sugar syrup and pour it into the egg whites (be careful as the sugar syrup is VERY hot!) with the mixer running on low speed. Keep the mixer running until the mixture is cool. Use the meringue to top the pie with. You can also transfer the meringue into a piping bag and pipe it using your favourite nozzle.
How to store this pie
Freshly baked lemon pie will keep in the fridge for about 2- 3 days. Refrigerate it in the airtight container or covered loosely with aluminium foil.
Classic Lemon Meringue Pie
- 24 cm loose-bottom tart tin
- rolling pin
- ceramic baking beads (optional)
- kitchen thermometer (optional)
- electric mixer
For sweet shortcrust pastry:
- 500 g plain flour
- 100 g icing sugar
- 250 g unsalted butter (cubed)
- 2 large eggs plus 2 yolks (save whites for meringue)
For the filling:
- 5 large eggs
- 130 g caster sugar
- 150 ml double cream
- 3 medium lemons (zest and juice)
For the Italian meringue:
- 2 large egg whites (saved from the shortcrust pastry recipe)
- 150 g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour and the icing sugar. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar mix using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles texture and appearance of the breadcrumbs.
- Make a small well in the middle and add eggs and egg yolks. Using fork, mix the eggs into the flour. Add 1-2 tbsp of ice cold water and using your hands, mix the dough until it comes together. Roll it into a ball and divide in half (you can freeze the other half until you need it for another recipe). Flatten the other half into a disk, wrap in some clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- While the pastry is chilling in the fridge, prepare the filling. Place all of the ingredients apart from lemon zest into a large bowl and beat until combined. Sieve the mixture then mix in the lemon zest. Set it aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a circle bigger than your tart tin (you want it to overhang from the tin) to a thickness of about £1 coin. Lift the pastry and transfer to your tin. Using your fingers, press the pastry gently into the bottom and sides of the tin. Trim off any excess pastry. Using a fork, prick the base of the tin and put it back in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 160 C (140 C fan). Line the tart tin with some baking parchment or kitchen foil and fill with ceramic baking beads or some rice or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven, discard the parchment/ foil and baking beads and bake for another 20 minutes until lightly golden and biscuity. Remove from the oven, pour the lemon mixture into the tin with pastry and bake for another 30 minutes, until just set. Remove from the oven, and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the tart from the tin and cool completely before topping up with the meringue.
To make Italian meringue:
- In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks. Place the sugar and 3 tbsp of water into a medium size pan over a gentle heat. Once sugar has completely dissolved, turn up the heat and boil syrup, without stirring it, until the mixture reaches 120 C on a sugar thermometer.
- Take off the heat and working swiftly, carefully pour the syrup into stiff egg whites, whisking continually at low speed, until the mixture is cold.
- Use the meringue to top up your pie with. You can also toast the meringue gently using a kitchen blowtorch.
- The sweet shortcrust pastry recipe will make double the amount of pastry needed. Freeze the other half until you need it for another recipe
- You can use shop-bought, ready- rolled shortcrust pastry if you don’t want to make your own
- Italian meringue is much firmer and more stable than traditional meringue, so it works much better for topping up the pies or cakes with it, however, feel free to use your favourite meringue recipe.
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