Meringue-topped pies can be very challenging to cut because the meringue can stick to the knife and tear, resulting in slices that are still tasty, but don’t look as pretty as they could. When you go to the trouble of making a beautiful meringue to top your pie, I think that you deserve a slice that looks picture-perfect – don’t you? Fortunately, it is possible to cut a meringue-topped pie neatly every time.
Step 1: Start with a sharp, narrow knife. A dull knife will not give you a clean cut no matter what you do and a wide-bladed knife just provides more surface in which meringue can get stuck.
Step 2: Make sure the blade of the knife is clean. Some people like to lightly grease their knives, but I find it can negatively impact the flavor of the pie and it isn’t necessary. I wipe my blade with a paper towel that has been wet with warm water. I wipe down the blade between slices with the same warm, damp paper towel.
Step 3: Use the tip of the blade to make a dotted line on the top of the pie, where you intend to make your slice. This step is the key to success! The dots should be small and can be very shallow. These dots (or short dashes, actually) serve to “pre-cut” the meringue. Place the dots relatively close together.
Step 4: Make your cut along the dotted line. Make sure that the knife reaches through to the bottom crust because you don’t want to have to make the same cut twice. Make your cut in one smooth motion, then wipe the blade and repeat to make more slices.
Step 5: Use a pie server to pick up the slice and serve. Be sure to take a picture before you dig in – and you’ll want to, because the slice will be so neat.