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Freezing Meringue Pies

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Q. Is it possible to freeze lemon meringue pie?

A. No, no, no, a thousand times no! How can you think about putting your freshly baked lemon meringue pie in the freezer? People should be beating down your door to eat it. Surly neighborhood children who throw water balloons at your car as you drive past should be bringing you flowers and begging for a taste of your pie. In-laws who have never shown the slightest interest in your life should be cozying up to you for a piece of your pie. What's wrong with your pie that you don't want to eat it right away?

Well, something will be wrong with it if you put it in the freezer. "Pies with meringue toppings should not be frozen," says Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Pie and Pastry Bible (Canada, UK). Meringues get tough when frozen. That doesn't stop lots of people from freezing them, but perhaps they don't know the difference between a tender meringue and a tough meringue. You and your in-laws do, though, so we recommend not freezing it.

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