Published November 1, 1994.
We wanted to develop a lemon meringue pie recipe that gave us a meringue that didn’t break down and puddle on the bottom or “tear” on top. We realized that the puddling underneath the meringue was from undercooking. The beading on top of the pie was from overcooking. We discovered that if the filling was piping hot when the meringue was applied, the underside of the meringue would not undercook; if the oven temperature was relatively low, the top of the meringue wouldn’t overcook. Baking the pie in a relatively cool oven also produced the best-looking, most evenly baked meringue.