According to baking tradition, having any kind of liquid appear on the top of baked meringue is a total Meringue Fail. The beauty in meringue is supposed to be in its height, its glossy whiteness between peaks of crisp golden brown, its smooth surface completely devoid of any type of liquid whatsoever.
We followed the recipe in Williams Sonoma’s Essentials of Baking, but added an extra teaspoon of grated lemon peel to the filling. We poured the hot filling into the room-temp crust and topped it with the fluffy meringue mixture. We baked it, cooled it and then chilled it. When we removed the pie from its cold storage container, we were surprised and delighted.
Let it be known, that We, the Three Bakers of This Pie, are declaring this day, July 28th, in the year 2012, that Baking Tradition has given mankind an undue burden by requiring a perfect meringue-topped pie to have a glossy surface of white and crisp, pale brown peaks, unspoilt by any liquid.
Furthermore, We, the Three Bakers of This Pie, do declare that a perfect Lemon Meringue Pie shall have a beautiful white and golden surface, festooned with garlands of glorious amber beads that magically appear on the chilled pie.
Moreover, We, the Three Bakers of This Pie, do declare that these stunning, light-refracting beads of rare nectar, should be in some places randomly scattered over the meringue and pale yellow in color, while other darker gold-flecked beads be arrayed as a brilliant strand of the most valuable natural Baltic Amber, nestled in the velvet cleavage of meringue rings.
Therefore, We, the Three Bakers of This Pie, do declare this Lemon Meringue Pie to be perfect.
So be it.