Q. My mother-in-law makes the best lemon meringue pie I have ever tasted. The trouble is, she lives out of town and only comes to visit a few times a year. Whenever she’s here, I always ask her to make me a pie. Then I spent months dreaming about how good it was until the next time I see her! I would love if she could make me a few pies the next time she visits so that I could freeze them and hold me over until the next visit. I’m not sure if freezing will make the crust go mushy or affect the meringue. Can you freeze lemon meringue pies?
A. It’s great to hear such a nice story about your mother-in-law. She sounds like a wonderful lady! To answer your question, yes, you can freeze lemon meringue pies! Many companies sell pre-frozen pies (although I’m sure none of them taste as good as the ones your mother-in-law makes!). Pies freeze quite well, and neither the crust nor the meringue should be negatively impacted by the freezing process. However, some people feel that the consistency of the meringue changes after thawing, and don’t like it. If you feel the same way, you can always freeze the pie without the meringue, and then whip some up yourself later.
To freeze lemon meringue pie, start with a fresh pie. Allow the pie to cool completely before freezing it. Failure to allow it to cool will result in a soggy crust due to the condensation that will occur as it cools. I suggest baking the pie in a foil pie plate or another oven-to-freezer dish, rather than trying to remove the pie for freezing. The best way to freeze the pie without disturbing the meringue is to place it in a special pie box that seals completely. Then, place it carefully in the freezer, being sure not to tip it sideways or to place anything on top of it. It will last up to three months before beginning to lose some of its flavour.
To use a frozen lemon meringue pie, it’s best to allow it to thaw completely in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Do not remove it from the box; simply transfer the box from the freezer to the fridge. When the pie is thawed, slice and enjoy! Keep unused portions in the fridge for up to three days. Do not refreeze previously frozen lemon meringue pie.