It’s with joy I bring you this gorgeous recipe for a traditional lemon meringue pie. Which of course is completely gluten free.
Lemon meringue pie has featured delightfully throughout my life, as my mum and grandma frequently made this delicious, zingy, meringue topped pie. But whilst they’d always make their own pastry and meringue, the lemon filing tended to be a Green’s packet mix. I used to love helping my mum and grandma make this pud. I say help, it was generally a case that I stood and stirred the lemon filling in the pan until it had thickened, and the little capsule, filled with magic lemon flavouring burst (my favourite bit!). The last time I checked, Green’s lemon pie filling was a ‘may contain’ for gluten, so of course it’s something that’s now off limits for me; hence the ‘need’ to make lemon meringue pie from scratch.
The original recipe for this lemon meringue pie is something I stumbled across when I was going through a recipe collection that belonged to a very special lady called Dorothy. Like me Dorothy loved her food. She also loved to bake/cook and would jot down recipes and keep cutting of things that she’d either made or had plans to make. Within her precious recipe bundle was a Mary Berry recipe print out from 1983 (Mary Berry – Cooking at home). I’m a huge fan of Mary Berry and when I spotted her recipe for an old English lemon meringue pie, I knew I had to give it a go.
I’ve been super precise when testing this recipe. The original recipe is in ounces rather than grams and you will spot, that rather than me rounding things off as I usually do, this time I’ve been exact with the grams conversion. In Mary’s original recipe she suggests adding just 2 egg yolks to the lemon filling, but I tested it out with 3 as I wanted to put the surplus egg yolk to good use. I was really happy with the result and didn’t feel that the addition of the extra egg yolk was detrimental.
Whilst this lemon meringue pie takes a little time to prepare it’s completely worth the effort. Serve it up to friends and family or simply make it purely for your own indulgence and enjoy as a rather wonderful weekend treat!
Ingredients (serves 6)
For the pastry base
Click here for the full gluten free shortcrust pastry recipe
13g (½oz) caster sugar (add this to the pastry mixture after you’ve rubbed in the butter)
For the lemon filling
2 large unwaxed lemons, finely grated zest and juice
42g (1½oz) *cornflour
300ml (½ pint) water
3 large egg yolks (room temp)
84g (3oz) caster sugar
For the meringue topping
3 large egg whites (room temp)
127g (4½oz) caster sugar
Make a batch of gluten free pastry. Don’t forget to add 13g caster sugar once you’ve rubbed in the butter into the gf flour.
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7/200C Fan.
Lightly butter a 20 cm fluted flan dish.
Roll out just over half of the pastry on a clean surface that has been lightly dusted with gluten free flour.
Dust the rolling pin with gluten free flour before rolling the pastry around it and gently lowering it into the dish. Work your way around the dish carefully lifting and easing the pastry in bit by bit. By not over stretching the pastry, you give it ‘wiggle room’ to shrink a little as it bakes.
Lightly prick the base all over with a fork, but don’t pierce right through.
Line the pastry base with a sheet of baking paper (if you scrunch the paper up first and then unfurl, you’ll find it fits the base better). Fill the base with baking beans.
Pop it into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes. After this time remove from the oven.
To make the lemon filling: Bring the water to boil in a pan. Blend together the lemon zest, juice and cornflour and pour this into the boiling water, whisking all the time. Whisk in the egg yolks and sugar and cook out for a minute or so over a medium heat.
Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes before pouring the filling into the pastry base.
To make the meringue: Whisk the egg whites in a large clean mixing bowl until they are stiff and form peaks. Add the caster sugar a teaspoon at a time whisking after each addition. The meringue will become thick and glossy. Don’t be tempted to throw all the sugar in at once, adding the sugar gradually really does make a big difference.
Spoon the meringue over the lemon filling. Spread it right up to the edge of the pastry (you don’t want any gaps around the pie). With the back of the spoon or using a fork form soft peaks over the top of the meringue.
Pop the pie into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until pale golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 1hr before tucking in.
Recipe notes and suggestions:
Lemon meringue pie without a shadow of doubt is at its best on the day it’s made. I also think its best served slightly warm. If not eating straight away store in a cool place. Whilst you can still continue enjoying the pie for up to 48hrs if it’s stored in the fridge, you’ll find that the overall texture isn’t quite the same as on the day it’s made.
To make life easier you can prepare the pastry base in advance. The uncooked pastry base will be fine in the fridge for up to 48hrs and in the freezer for up to 2 months. Wrap well for both storage suggestions. I’d recommend that you bake the pastry base on the same day you make the complete pie.
You will have pastry leftover after making your pie. Don’t chuck it away, maybe make some jam tarts or a little fruit pie or line another dish to slip into the freezer.
Individual lemon meringue pies would look amazing! And to make them look extra fancy you could pipe the meringue on top. Lightly buttered muffin tins or tiny flan dishes would be the ideal thing to use. Method and oven temp would be the same, you would just need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Thanks as always for taking the time to check out the things I share. It means so much. I do hope that you love this recipe for lemon meringue pie as much as I do, and you enjoy making and sharing it with your special people.
Full credit and thanks for the original recipe I’ve slightly tweaked to make gluten free, must of course go to Mary Berry.
*Check this product out to ensure no gluten containing ingredients or ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable’ warnings on the pack. If in doubt leave it out.