Comforting, zesty and light, lemon meringue pie is the ultimate dessert. A sweet pastry case and thick lemon curd centre, topped with peaks of billowy meringue, the perfect pie is all about getting the right combination of textures, and tart and sweet flavours.

Take the time to really focus on your lemon curd filling – this will make all the difference. To make sure your curd is perfectly smooth and free from lumps, whisk it continuously as it cooks – and avoid overcooking it so it doesn’t curdle.

For the best results, let your filled tart cool completely before topping with the meringue.

THE BEST LEMON MERINGUE PIE
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Serves 8

Plain flour, for dusting
1 x 375g pack of sweet pastry
3 tablespoons cornflour
270g caster sugar
3 medium lemons
50g unsalted butter, cubed
3 free-range egg yolks
4 free-range egg whites

1. Preheat your oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin. Carefully fold the pastry over your rolling pin, then drape it over a 23cm loose-bottom fluted flan tin.
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2. Press the pastry into the edges, being careful not to tear it. If the pastry does tear, patch it up with leftover bits, but be thorough – any cracks will spring leaks! Trim the pastry with a knife, then push it 1cm to 2cm up the sides of the tin to allow for shrinkage in the oven.
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3. Cover the base of the tart with heat-proof clingfilm, or baking parchment, and fill it with baking beans or uncooked rice. Blind bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked.
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4. Remove the clingfilm and beans or rice, and return the tart shell to the oven for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it’s golden and biscuity. Take the tart shell back out of the oven, leave to cool, and reduce the oven temperature to 150ºC/300ºF/gas 2.
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5. Make the lemon curd (see how here). Spoon the curd filling into the pastry case, and spread it out evenly. Leave to cool for at least 30 minutes in the fridge (the longer the better), so the meringue won’t slip around when you spoon it over the top.
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6. Now, make the meringue. In a spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites for 1 minute, or until thickened. Begin adding the rest of the sugar a little at a time, whisking each addition well, until you have a thick, glossy meringue.
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7. Use 2 tablespoons to blob the meringue over the cooled curd, making peaks as you go. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and set.
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This beautiful dessert can be enjoyed either warm or cold, although if you’re serving it warm, let it cool slightly first so as not to burn your guests’ mouths!

For more delicious pastry-based desserts, why not try this rich and zesty chocolate & raspberry tart or Jamie’s Italian-inspired blackberry tart? Or, if meringue is more your thing, take a look at these recipes that embrace it as the hero.

*Lining your pastry with clingfilm is a technique favoured by chefs around the world. It is a completely safe, foolproof method and could save you time each time you bake blind.

Adapted from Jamie magazine


Tags

lemon, lemon curd, pie

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  • Marie Michas

    I had the exact same problem! I stuck to the recipe but my curd was WAY too thin too. It also made the whole pie way too sweet. I was thinking of trying to put some gelantine in to make it more firm, as adding more sugar for consistency would clearly ruin everything. I just dont know if it’s okay to put the curd with gelantine back in the oven again after letting it cool for a bit. I dont know how else to thicken it. Thoughts?

  • Marie Michas

    I was already wondering why he would suggest that!! I used greaseproof paper, the kind you also use for baking.

  • Marie Michas

    Okay, I baked it again now and I have the solution. The recipe suggests you be very careful while cooking the curd, which you should, but that led me to be too careful. The starch in the corn flour needs to boil just once to thicken the curd, and I havent allowed it to boil the first time I made it. Dont boil it for long, just once shortly, then return to lower heat again.

  • Johanna Kierdorf

    I had a similar thing happening to me and decided to leave it overnight, which helped a lot…

  • Johanna Kierdorf

    i used tin foil works as well

  • Brian Singleton

    You need a silicone based cling film.

  • Janette

    Is there such a thing as heat-proof cling wrap??? I would never bake with it. Parchment paper is much better.

  • James Downs-Ford (AndroidStuff

    how long does this take in total?