Easy lemon meringue pie recipe

(1491 ratings)

Our easy lemon meringue pie takes under an hour to make and uses only four ingredients.

easy lemon meringue pie alamy
(Image credit: Alamy)
  • Vegetarian
  • healthy
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time55 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories364 Kcal18%
Fat13 g19%
Saturated Fat6 g30%
Carbohydrates56 g22%

This easy lemon meringue pie is perfect when you want a last minute dessert that uses a handful of ingredients. 

If you’re craving the flavours of lemon meringue pie but don’t have the time or patience to make your own pastry or curd from scratch, this recipe is ideal. The only thing you make is the meringue but you could also sprinkle over shop bought nests once the case is baked if you prefer. 


  • 1 packet of ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • 8 tbsp of lemon curd, from a jar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar




  1. Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan, Gas 5). Lightly grease a 20-23cm fluted tin.
  2. Roll out the pastry until it’s thin enough and wide enough to generously fit the tin. Depending on your tin size you may have more or less leftover pastry. Line the tin with the pastry.
  3. Spoon the lemon curd on top of the pastry and spread evenly to the edges.
  4. For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they form stiff peaks (this means you can hold the bowl upside down above your head and it will not fall out). Whisk in the caster sugar, a spoonful at a time.
  5. Spoon the meringue mixture on top of the lemon curd.
  6. Bake the pie for about 45 minutes until the meringue is crisp on the outside and soft and marshmallow-like underneath.
  7. Serve warm or at room temp in slices

Top tips for making our easy lemon meringue pie

For the best flavour possible, it’s important to buy the best quality ingredients. All-butter pastry has a richer flavour and will turn a deeper golden colour.

Look for curds made with additional egg yolks for richness and salted butter will help balance the sweetness. If you like more tips and tricks when making this recipe, continue reading below. 

How do you get a crispy crust on the bottom of a pie?

To help the bottom of the pie crisp, you can heat a baking tray in the oven and place the meringue pie on top of this in the oven. It puts the bottom of the tart tin in direct contact with a strong heat source and encourages the bottom to crisp.

Alternatively, you can blind bake the pastry case first. This will ensure the pastry is cooked all the way through and lovely and crisp, but it is an additional step to the method and adds time on too. 

Does lemon meringue pie contain lemon curd?

Yes, in a traditional recipe you would make your own lemon curd but this recipe uses shop bought jars. Different brands of curd will have a different taste and consistency so you may need to experiment and find the one that works best to your liking.

If you want to give a jar a homemade touch, try adding some additional lemon or orange zest. You could also stir in a tiny dash of vanilla, if you like. 

What is a good substitute for lemon curd?

If you can’t find lemon curd for this recipe, you could use another curd such as passionfruit, grapefruit or orange. These will all provide enough citrusy flavour to match the sweet meringue and rich pastry.

If you have a sweet tooth, you could also use something like a chocolate ganache. You would want to bake the pastry case first, then fill with ganache and allow to set. Then for the meringue topping it might be better to opt for Italian meringue which can be torched and is more stable than regular meringue.

For this recipe we recommend using a tin between 20 and 23cm in diameter. If you have a smaller tin you won't need to roll the pastry as big and you'll have some leftovers. We like to use a non-stick tin as it means you don't need to grease the tin and it's easy to lift the pie out. 

Tala Performance Eclipse Non-Stick 20cm - View at Ocado 

Tala Performance Eclipse Non-Stick 20cm - View at Ocado 

This non-stick tin is perfect for making our easy lemon meringue pie but it can also be used for baking quiche or a chocolate tart. It has a loose-bottom making it easy to lift the tart out. The tin is easy to clean and suitable for using in the fridge, freezer, dishwasher and oven. 

If easy baking is your niche, you have to try our lemon drizzle cake. For a hybrid of the two our lemon meringue cake is a good choice. Alternatively, if you’re feeling more adventurous we recommend baking a lemon roulade. You could use it to make our lemon trifle

Samuel Goldsmith
Freelance food writer

Former Assistant Headteacher, Samuel has a BSc in Food from the University of Birmingham and is also Co-Vice Chair of the Guild of Food Writers and a Trustee of 91 Ways CIC. His work has featured in national and international publications including Waitrose Food, Australian Delicious, and the LAD Bible Group. Samuel has also consulted on a number of best-selling food and drink books, and was a nutritional consultant for BBC’s Eat Well for Less.