Lemon meringue trifle



35 min


1 h 30 min



* PLUS 8 hr chilling time
Lemon meringue trifle

Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Looking for a great make-ahead desert? This lemon meringue trifle recipe improves over time as the ladyfingers soak in the limoncello & lemon juice.


  • 2 eggs
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter , cubed


  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup limoncello
  • 2 150-g pkgs ladyfingers , (not sugar-coated)


  • LEMON Curd: Whisk eggs, yolks, sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt in a large bowl. Place bowl over a large pot with 1 in. of simmering water over medium. Beat, using an electric mixer on medium-low, until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 10 to 12 min. Remove from heat and beat in butter, 1 cube at a time, until pale and frothy, 1 to 2 min. Place plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd and refrigerate until cool, about 30 min.
  • MERINGUE TRIFLE: Whisk egg whites, sugar, water, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt in a large metal bowl set over a large pot with 1 in. of simmering water over medium until sugar dissolves, about 3 min. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high, until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted, 7 to 9 min. Remove from heat. Beat in vanilla.
  • COMBINE lemon juice and limoncello (or alcohol-free version, below) in a small bowl. Quickly dunk half of the ladyfingers, 1 at a time, in limoncello mixture, then place in bottom of a 3-qt trifle bowl. Layer with half of the lemon curd, then half of the meringue. Repeat. Refrigerate, covered, 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • TO serve, toast the top of the meringue with a kitchen torch, if desired. Garnish with candied lemon peel, if desired.


Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 291,
  • Protein
  • 5 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 50 g,
  • Fat
  • 8 g,
  • Sodium
  • 135 mg.
  • Excellent source of
  • vitamin B12

Lemon meringue trifle – Kitchen Tips:

  • This is a great make-ahead dessert that actually improves as it sits and the ladyfingers soften, making it perfect for entertaining!
  • You will need 5 to 6 lemons to yield 1 cup lemon juice for this recipe.
  • Instead of using limoncello, make an alcohol-free lemon syrup by simmering 2 tbsp lemon juice with 2 tbsp granulated sugar in a small saucepan until sugar melts.
  • No trifle bowl? You can make this dessert in any large glass bowl.
  • Only need to serve 8 people? No problem, this recipe is easily halved. Just use a smaller glass bowl or vessel.