Lemon Pie

Lemon Pie

This lemon pie is tangy and tasty, making it perfect for summer days. The recipe skips merengue and instead focuses on a crunchy biscuit base and zesty lemon cream topping. The pie is best served with lightly whipped cream as an accompaniment with coffee, or after a meal.


Step 1
  • Start by making the base. Mix flour and sugar in a bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and mix it into the flour and sugar, adding water.
Step 2
  • Press the dough into a greased cake tin (roughly 22 cm in diameter), forming a base and covering half of the tin’s side.
Step 3
  • Place the tin in a refrigerator and chill for at least one hour.
Step 4
  • Pre-bake the base for 12-15 minutes in the middle of an oven heated to 200 °C.
Step 5
  • To make the lemon cream, mix the lemon juice and cornstarch in a bowl made of a material that retains heat (for example glass or metal). Mix in the eggs and sugar.
Step 6
  • Put the bowl in a water bath and warm the mixture over an even temperate while constantly whisking until the cream becomes thicker and full. Remove the bowl from the water.
Step 7
  • Beat in the soft butter cubes one by one, only adding a new cube each time the previous one has been properly absorbed into the cream.
Step 8
  • Pour the lemon cream into the mould before baking the cake in the middle of an oven, this time at 225 °C for around 10 minutes.
Step 9
  • When the lemon cake is golden brown on the surface it is ready (even if the cream is still soft).
Step 10
  • Allow the cake to cool in its mould on a cooling rack. Only remove it from the mould when it is completely cool. Decorate with lemon balm leaves and serve with lightly whipped cream.

Best served chilled - make it a few days in advance to truly enjoy this dessert.


Use fresh lemon juice instead of bottled for a more full flavour.

Lemon Pie

How do you stop a lemon pie from being runny?
The main culprit for a runny lemon cream topping is too much heat – that’s why we use a water bath to evenly heat the mixture instead of placing it directly on the stove. Make sure you don’t overheat the filling or your lemon pie topping could prove stubborn. If that still doesn’t make a difference, try adding slightly more cornstarch to the mixture.
How long does it take for lemon pie to set?
This recipe uses a lemon cream that sets relatively quickly. Once the pie has been removed from the oven, leave it on a cooling rack until the mould is completely cool.
Is lemon pie filling gluten free?
While none of the ingredients in this recipe naturally contain gluten, pay attention to the cornstarch you use. Some brands of cornstarch are not 100 percent pure and therefore not gluten free due to cross-contamination in the manufacturing process: double check the label to be sure.
Can lemon pie be left out overnight?
If space in your refrigerator is limited then it’s fine to leave this pie out overnight at room temperature, but as the recipe contains dairy and egg, any longer creates the risk of bacteria forming, making the pie unsafe to eat.


Cake base
175 g
2 tbsp
Cold butter
100 g
1 tbsp
Lemon cream
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 tbsp
Corn starch
1 tsp
Caster sugar
150 g
Soft butter, diced into small cubes
100 g
For serving
Fresh lemons balm leaves
Double cream
250 ml

The best treat on a hot summer day

There is no dessert that fits better for a warm day than a fresh, zesty lemon pie, and that helps explain its longevity since first being concocted as early as the 1700s. The lemon curd (or custard as it was known originally) that tops the pies was first created in England during the 18th century, before travelling to the Americas, France and beyond soon after.

Serve it with whipped cream for the ultimate experience

After going to the effort of making the lemon pie it can be tempting to skip on the accompaniments, but we promise it’s worth it. The fatty, round taste of the whipped cream is a perfect contrast to the sharpness of the lemon topping – combined they’ll take your dessert to the next level.

Coffee, tea or soda?

Pairing a slice of fresh lemon pie with a strong cup of coffee or dark tea is a simple, rewarding pleasure that will make your break from a busy day feel even more rewarding. A cold drink like a soda is equally satisfying with this summer-themed sweet treat – there’s a reason a slice of lemon goes will with a cold Coke, after all.

Storage advice

We’d argue this lemon pie shines best when cool, but it can be kept at room temperature for up to a day. Otherwise, cover it, refrigerate and the pie will keep for up to three days. Freezing is the way to go for longer-term storage: either cut into portions or freeze whole, carefully wrapping the tart before you freeze it.