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is my lemon meringue pie mushy?"
Anne and Sue,
Whenever I make lemon meringue pie, it waters and makes
the shell mushy. I have tried cooling the filling before
putting it back in the oven with the meringue topping
to brown, but it doesn't seem to help. I'd appreciate
any hints or suggestions. Thank you.
First, let's take a look at where this moisture is coming
from. Water is leaking from the beaten whites (they're
87% water), pooling between the filling and the meringue,
and dripping down the sides to the crust. The cause? While
the meringue cooks on top when it is put into a hot oven,
there isn't sufficient time for the meringue to cook on
The solution? Rather than cooling the filling, reheat
it quickly after you add the egg yolks, so it gets steaming
hot. Pour the hot filling into the piecrust, immediately
spoon on the meringue, and bake it. While the top of the
meringue browns quickly in the oven, heat from the filling
cooks the underside of the meringue. As it cooks, proteins
in the egg whites coagulate and hold liquid rather than
releasing it, so the meringue is moist and the crust stays
Some cooks sprinkle a fine layer of cake crumbs on the
hot filling, then top it with the meringue. The crumbs
absorb any accumulating moisture, and the meringue clings
to the filling.
Lemon meringue pie is not one to wait patiently to be
eaten. The longer the pie sits, the more moisture is inclined
to accumulate. We recommend that you make it the day you
plan to eat it. A homemade lemon meringue pie is becoming
a rare treat. We're delighted you're still making them!