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Home Cooking 3

How to brown meringue on pie without melting the lemon filling??

permutations | Apr 8, 2014 11:04 PM

I just made my first lemon meringue pie in a long time, and I ran into a problem. My crust was good, my lemon filling - thickened only with egg yolk - set beautifully. My meringue came out great - tasty with lovely, shiny peaks. I piled it on the pie and put it in the oven to brown. And then the disaster.

After 15 minutes at 350 degrees, the meringue was nicely browned, but the lemon filling had liquefied. Beautiful pie ruined.

My oven (a convection oven) is screwed up: (1) the broiler temp won't go above 350F, and (2) the baking temp won't go above 450F (Panasonic manufacturing flaw), so it would be hard to brown it a lot quicker in the oven. But maybe 450F is hot enough? What's the longest in the over that would be safe?

I have a kitchen torch (which I'm afraid to use - also, I need to buy butane). I could use that to brown the meringue, but I don't really know how to use it. Any tips?

Why did the lemon filing liquefy like that?? I've seen lemon meringue pie recipes that say to brown the meringue at 350F for 15 minutes. Is it because it's thickened only with egg yolk? The filling was firmly set - I didn't know that was reversible with heat! I put it back in the refrigerator - will it re-set? Or has something chemically broken down.

The lemon filling expanded when it liquefied, raising the meringue up so it no longer touched the crust. When it came out of the oven, the meringue was precariously floating on an ocean of lemon filling.

Ideas, suggestions? I'm so sad. I want to understand why this happened and how to prevent it in the future. Thanks!

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