storing pie with merigue topping

I need to make a key lime pie with meringue topping for a birthday "cake". Due to my schedule, I need to make the pie around 24 hours before the dinner. Do I store it in the fridge? Or should I bake the pie the day before, refrigerate it and then just do the meringue right before serving? Any suggestions? Thanks!!!

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LE BEC FIN
LE BEC FIN April 30, 2012

a very knowledgeable someone will prob answer this shortly. in the meantime, i will mention that the pie would not be a dangerous thing to leave out overnight at room temp. and that would be much better flavor/texture for a baked flour crust, if that's what you have. i know that meringues 'weep' when refrigerated awhile. end of my knowledge, sorry.
mindy

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Shuna Lydon
Shuna Lydon April 30, 2012

Depending on the type of meringue {French, Swiss or Italian} you use for the topping makes the most difference in how you store the finished pie. Swiss and Italian meringue last the longest, upright and pretty, in the fridge. French is the least stable, Swiss is more stable and Italian Meringue is the most stable. Also, if you "torch" said meringue, it will stay stable longer.

Meringue is best eaten closer to the time it is made. I like to say Meringue won't wait. It's also hard to store something that's been finished with meringue as it attracts quite a bit of moisture in cold boxes and tends to get as sticky as a briar patch! Freezers are better than fridges.

I hope this helps. {P.s I wish that by answering this questions I could get a slice or even a taste! I loves me some citrus & meringue desserts!

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LE BEC FIN
LE BEC FIN April 30, 2012

shuna, what if she doesn't refrigerate it? would it still weep?

louisez
louisez April 30, 2012

I've made a key lime (sometimes substituting lemon) pie from a recipe of Craig Claiborne's for years, and for many years had a problem with "weeping," especially if I made the pie ahead and refrigerated it. I made a few adjustments -- which run counter to the standard instructions. First, the instructions generally tell you to let the baked lime (or lemon) filling cool completely before putting the meringue on top. I now put the meringue on top of the hot filling just after removing from the oven, being careful to spread the meringue carefully to the edges, making sure they're sealed. I then bake longer than the recommended 6-10 minutes, until the meringue is well-browned. I let the pie cool completely, then chill. 24 hours ahead should be fine.

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louisez
louisez April 30, 2012

Ooops! -- one more thing. Be sure you've beaten the meringue properly. It's likelier to weep if not beaten enough.

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a Whole Foods Market Customer

I second what @louisez said. for storing the pie in the fridge, use a cake dome, inverted mixing bowl, or prop up some plastic wrap with toothpicks (or birthday candles in this case) to keep your pie from absorbing and "fridge funk" after it's come down to room temp on the counter. Alton Brown has some great suggestions about lemon meringue pie on the Food Network site.

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