Pies sometimes don’t turn out quite as intended, and cooks both today and a hundred years ago try to figure out why. In a question and answer column in the November, 1921 issue of American Cookery, a reader asked:
Will you tell me in your paper why my Lemon Pies become watery when I return them to the oven to brown the meringue?
The answer was:
A lemon pie may become watery when put in the oven to brown the meringue, if it is left in the oven too long; or it may water because the filling was not sufficiently cooked before putting into the pastry shell, or it may be from an insufficiency of flour being used in making the filling. If you had told us just how your pies are made, we would be better able to answer your question.