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The History of Lemon Meringue Pie

In Honor of National Lemon Meringue Pie Day, we are delving into the history behind this classic dessert. Lemon meringue pie is a Philadelphia creation from the Victorian era. Its invention is credited to Mrs. Elizabeth Goodfellow, a 19th-century pastry shop proprietress who ran America’s first cooking school. (The recipe ultimately evolved from her famous lemon pudding.) In the mid-19th century, Eliza Leslie helped familiarize Americans with meringue-topped puddings, and by the 1860s, lemon meringue pie recipes were showing up in cookbooks nationwide. The decadent dessert quickly became a classic in America and was reportedly even a favorite of Abraham Lincoln! Today, lemon meringue pie continues to be a popular dessert that is often associated with diner fare and the American South.

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