According to the website Food Timeline, the lemon desserts we enjoy today, including lemon meringue pie, can be traced back to medieval times when lemons were rare and expensive ingredients prized for their sunny flavor and scurvy-fighting vitamin C. Chilled lemon meringue pie became especially popular in the American South because of its refreshing flavor and is still considered a pantry staple during the summer months. While some consider it a complicated recipe to make from scratch, cooling and serving lemon meringue pie can be easily accomplished, even by the least experienced bakers.
Place the warm pie on a cooking rack for up to two hours.
Refrigerate the pie for one hour if you prefer to serve it chilled. Make sure the pie has cooled to room temperature before refrigerating.
Slice the pie in six or eight pieces with a sharp, thin-bladed knife. Make certain you cut all the way through the crust. If the lemon filling does not slice cleanly, you may need to cool your pie longer.
Slide a wedge-shaped pie server under the crust of a cut piece and transfer it to a plate.
A delicate meringue can easily absorb the odors and flavors of stronger foods. When refrigerating, place the pie in a covered pie dish to maintain maximum flavor and freshness.
For a clean cut, dip your knife into a glass of warm water and wipe it with a clean cloth before each slice. This will help the knife slide through the meringue neatly.
The filling of a lemon meringue pie may remain slightly runny for some time after baking. Even if you prefer to serve your pie warm, let it cool for approximately two hours before cutting so that your slices will hold together on the plate.
Jo Burns has been a freelance writer since 1980. She specializes in articles relating to home and garden, alternative health care, travel, writing and crafting. In 2007, Burns received an M.F.A. in creative writing.