A slice of French lemon pie is not something I will easily turn down. No matter how sumptuous a meal may be, there will always be room the refreshing zing of this beautiful dessert.

Years ago, I had what was probably the best
tarte au citron meringuée ever. After spending the morning driving around the Opal Coast of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, we finally decided on a place to stop for lunch: Le-Touquet-Paris-Plage. But choosing a restaurant proved to be no easy task. Kirstie wanted crêpes, I wanted seafood, and Hans just wanted to make sure that we had a nice table and some decent food. After a lot of debate and a few rounds through the town center, we finally agreed on a cozy, little crêperie. At first, I wasn’t so sure about our choice, but I was persuaded by the fact that they did offer a seafood salad, which turned out to be absolutely delicious. It had lots of plump mussels, prawns, cuttlefish, smoked salmon, samphire and a little mound of black lumpfish caviar. Hans chose the carbonade flamande, and because there were no sweet crêpes at that moment (major disappointment), Kirstie settled for the waffles with Nutella.

When dessert time rolled around, the waiter told us that we could either choose from the menu or come inside and have a look at some of the pastries they had on offer. My mouth watered as I admired the beautiful works of art created entirely out of chocolate. And there were also tartelettes of every kind, truffles and eclairs! How could I possibly choose?
I finally decided on a lemon meringue pie. The best lemon meringue pie ever. I knew it was a recipe I had to recreate, and I dare say that the results are pretty close to what my taste buds remembered. The only difference was that my pie wasn’t enjoyed at a fabulous French beach town. But hey, if I close my eyes…

NOTE: To make the recipe. I used the Revol porcelain pie pan


Tarte au Citron Meringuée
Serves 6-8


For the crust:

  • 150g all-purpose flour
  • 75g cold butter, cubed
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsps raw cane sugar
  • 1 egg


For the filling:

  • 90g butter
  • juice of two lemons
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 150g caster sugar


For the meringue:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 75g icing sugar


Mix flour with butter, salt and sugar in processor at low speed for about 20 seconds or until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the whisked egg and pulse until dough comes together into a ball. If the dough seems dry, add a drop or two of iced water. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 40 minutes. Remove from the fridge 5-10 minutes before using it.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease a 25cm pie pan with a little butter. Roll out your dough on a floured surface and drape it over the prepared pan pressing it up against the edges. Trim off any excess dough. Line the dough with a piece of parchment paper and weigh it down with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for an additional 3 minutes. In the meantime, make the filling. Melt the butter together with the lemon juice in a medium saucepan and allow to cool briefly. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk and sugar until well combined. Add the melted butter and lemon very slowly to this mixture, whisking constantly as you go as to avoid curdling. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and allow it to cook slowly over a moderate heat for about 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon while it cooks. Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, it is ready to be poured into the prepared shell. Bake the lemon pie for approximately 10 minutes at 200°C. To make the meringue, in a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with half the sugar until almost stiff. Add in the rest of the sugar and whisk until the egg whites are firm and satiny. Spread this evenly over the top of the pie. Place the pie back in the oven (this time as high up as possible) and bake for 4-6 minutes, checking frequently to ensure it does not burn. Allow the pie to cool and refrigerate before eating.