Does Lemon Meringue Pie Need To Be Refrigerated?

Lemon meringue pie is among the best when it comes to dessert choices. It has an amazing fluffy, creamy texture and the burst of sweetness coming from the primary lemon ingredient.

But it’s quite difficult to consume an entire lemon meringue pie, especially if you are on your own. So, if you do end up with leftovers – should you be refrigerating it?

Does Lemon Meringue Pie Need To Be Refrigerated?

The answer is actually complicated. Lemon meringue pie will need to be refrigerated but you must let it sit out a while before you do so to prevent “weeping”. 

To simplify some of this complexity, we’ve written this handy guide to help to answer all of your questions and provide some other helpful pieces of information you may need to know.

Read on to learn more. 

Should You Refrigerate Lemon Meringue Pie?

As we said, this answer is a little more complicated than people might believe. Due to the ingredients between the toppings and the filling, lemon meringue pie has a tendency to “weep”.

This is when a settled, cloudy liquid appears to sit on the top and drip downwards, which is often caused by the egg whites. On top of this, water beads might form and weep down also. 

This water is usually caused by how a lemon meringue pie is cooked – if it is overcooked, this tends to happen more than often.

The problem is that refrigerating your lemon meringue pie can actually speed this process up.

As a result, what you need to do is allow the lemon meringue pie to settle at room temperature for about an hour to two hours, but then after this time you will need to refrigerate it. 

This is because, weeping or not, lemon meringue pie is made with perishable ingredients such as egg whites, cream and of course, lemons. 

How Long Will Lemon Meringue Pie Last In The Refrigerator?

Bizarrely, this point is even as complex as the previous point. How long your lemon meringue pie will last in the refrigerator will depend on how long you plan to wait until the whole pie is consumed. 

Let’s say you are planning to store it for a while before eating it. You will have to cover the lemon meringue pie in plastic wrap and then you can store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. 

However, as we mentioned before, this will differ depending on what you’re planning to do.

If you are going to eat more of the lemon meringue pie in less than six hours, then you will not need to plastic wrap it.

This is because plastic wrap has a tendency to cause further weeping by crushing the eggs downwards.

As a result, it’s best to avoid using this sort of wrap and leave it open in the refrigerator on the highest shelf. 

Whichever method you are planning to use, it’s imperative that you know that you cannot leave lemon meringue pie out for more than two hours after it has been refrigerated. 

This is because bacteria will develop and if you refrigerate it again, you will speed up the growth process. Eventually, this will lead to foodborne illnesses (food poisoning) if you do consume the pie again. 

Can I Freeze Lemon Meringue Pie?

Yes, if you are not planning to eat more of your lemon meringue pie in a short period of time, then it is best advised that you freeze the pie. 

The best way to do this is to let the pie cool and settle as much as it can and then cover the pie in a tin foil container.

These containers help with the shape of the lemon meringue pie and prevent it being crushed before freezing.

Once you have placed the pie in the freezer, it will keep for around three months. So, it’s a good idea to label a date and product information onto the container when you place it in the freezer.

Once again, you will need to consume the lemon meringue pie as soon as possible after it has been thawed.

You have around one to two days to consume the rest of the pie when you have placed it into the refrigerator after thawing. 

What Is My Best Option?

The best option is to eat the lemon meringue pie as soon as possible after you have cooked it – but remember it is best served cold.

To do so, it’s a good idea to plan your meal with enough people that will be able to eat the whole pie. 

Aside from this, if you do crave some lemon meringue pie but don’t want leftovers, you can pick up some lemon meringue pie in stores which are often preserved in cans.

These portions are smaller too, so you won’t need to worry about leftovers. 

However, if you do wish to make your own lemon meringue pie and do not have enough mouths to feed at that time, then it is best advised for you to consume how much you want and then freeze the remains. 

How Can I Prevent Weeping?

It is quite difficult to prevent weeping entirely. However, there are some steps you can take during the creation process and the storage process.

Lemon meringue pie is far less likely to weep if you add the meringue after being cooked to the pie. All you need to do is mix sugar and egg whites together. 

Additionally, storing the lemon meringue pie makes a difference.

As we mentioned before, if you plan to take the lemon meringue pie out of the fridge in a few hours, then you should not plastic wrap it.

This will help to prevent weeping in the refrigerator. 

The Bottom Line

Lemon meringue pie will need to be refrigerated eventually, but not right away due to weeping. Ensure you follow the guidelines and consume your pie as soon as possible.

Mark Williams