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Jun 14, 2010 10:49 AM

Slippery Lemon Meringue Pie

Hello hounds! This may be, for all I know, an impossible request: after baking and chilling a lemon meringue pie, the meringue ALWAYS slides off the lemon curd. Does anyone know of any way to prevent this from happening? Help me figure this out and I will be forever indebted to you!

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  1. You have to anchor the meringue to the crust before the final bake to cook the meringue. Spread the meringue so that it is touching the edge of the pie crust. It will then bake and stick to the crust and not slide around.

    10 Replies
    1. re: John E.

      agreed.. this is a very important step!!

      1. re: John E.

        yes, this keeps the meringue stuck to the crust--but nothing i can to do stick it to the curd?

        1. re: InLieu

          I'm not really much of a baker, but I've never had that problem. Anybody else out there with more meringue experience want to take a stab at this? If the meringe is sticking to the crust, after you slice it, why would it move around?

          1. re: InLieu

            Not only do you have to anchor the meringue to the crust edges, but also putting the meringue on the filling while hot will keep it from sliding around after cutting. The contact with the hot filling will prevent condensation from forming in the meringue and the resultant weeping; cold temperatures create condensation more quickly, which causes meringue slippage. Keep your filling warm in a double boiler, or reheat to hot, not boiling, and pour it into the pie shell when your meringue is ready for topping. Many recipes instruct the baker to pour the filling into the prepared crust and chill before topping with meringue, but that never works out well.

            Lemon meringue pie is best served the day it's made. The meringue and filling tend to weep over time, especially when refrigerated; meringue doesn't hold up that well anyway, and you may see some liquid collect under the crust after 12 hours or so. So, make it in the morning, allow to cool at room temperature, chill after a few hours of cooling and serve for dessert after dinner. Gradual room temp cooling is better for meringue. I only chill the pie if it's going to be more than a few hours before serving. The filling takes about two hours or so to set up, regardless of ambient temperature. I think this pie is actually better closer to room temp than cold, anyway; taking the refrigerator chill off the pie allows the lemon flavor to shine. Remove from frig at least a half hour before serving.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              Thanks for this tip -- I never knew that about putting the meringue on while the filling is hot. I tend not to refrigerate this pie at all since I feel it tends to degrade in the refrigerator. After a day or so, if it's not finished, I usually remove the meringue, then refrigerate it, and call it a lemon tart!

                1. re: roxlet

                  putting the meringue when it's hot really makes a difference!

                  i've never had a lemon meringue pie that's sat long enough to be refrigerated... but good idea about making it a 'lemon tart'

                2. re: bushwickgirl

                  Alton Brown stressed getting the meringue on the filling while hot in his episode about LMP as well. However he switched the order up a little. 1. Blind bake the crust. 2. Prepare the meringue and then keep it in the mixing bowl, covered, while preparing the lemon curd. It will hold fine for the amount of time it takes to prepare the filling 3. Prepare the curd, pouring into the crust while warm. 4. Fluff up the meringue by beating for ~30 seconds, top the pie (sealing to the crust) and then into the oven to bake the meringue.

                  1. re: kmcarr

                    Do you think I could reheat the filling before adding it to the crust and topping with the meringue? I like to make a lot of curd well ahead of time.

                    1. re: mrabin

                      Yup, gently over a water bath (double boiler) or slowly in the MW, stirring frequently. Reheats nicely.