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Old 02-21-2002, 07:56 AM   #1
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My Meringue Nightmare...with tips for perfect meringues

Okay, I can cook most things but meringues are a nightmare! Everytime I try and make some they come out a mess :(

After having some time off, I'm going to try again. Do you have any tips before I get started?

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Old 02-21-2002, 12:27 PM   #2
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Jan, I think having your egg whites warm helps a lot. Don't try and beat them in a plastic bowl - make sure it's glass or stainless or porcelain - anything but plastic cause oil adheres to it and that always kills your meringue. Make sure there isn't even a speck of egg yolk in your whites and if you ever do get a bit into it, use the shell of the egg you just cracked and the yolk will go right back to it. This won't work if you try to use any shell except the one it came from! Beat your whites till they turn "frothy" and then add sugar gradually...don't overwhelm them with too much sugar cause they can't hold up under the weight. This was just a little off the top of my head. I love meringue and have never had any trouble with making it. If you try these things and it still won't work - give a yell and we'll keep on trying til it does!!! Carol
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Old 02-21-2002, 12:32 PM   #3
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meringue nightmares

Carol is perfectly correct. You never should use a plastic bowl and make sure nothing that had any grease or oil is on your utensils. That can be such a bummer when things mess up like that. I can remember having a meringue frosting turn nasty on me just because there were a few sugar crystals undissolved in the water I was dissolving it in.
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Old 02-28-2002, 09:07 PM   #4
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Carol and Cookie are right. Another tip: about 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tarter for the average recipe for one pie will also increase the volumn , and help your meringue hold it's shape while cooking. Add it to the room temperature whites when you first begin beating. To help prevent "shrinking meringue" make sure the meringue completely covers the filling, just touching the sides of the pie crust, with no "holes" between the crust and meringue.
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Old 03-11-2002, 04:18 PM   #5
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Pavlova Anyone ?

My suggestion for Meringue is to use the warming drawer of you stove / oven to set the meringue.
For Valentines it was Pink Hearts . . . and for St. Patrick's it will be Green Clovers. I make meringues as treats for some "Special Days" and find them quite well received; I guess we all have a sweettooth somewhere. The nice aspect to them is the very Low Fat treat, almost none, and not registering on many diet restriction lists either.
Using the Warming Drawer keeps the oven free, uses less power, and they can sit there all night, or longer, drying.
As for the Pavlova, I like mine ot quite dry, sort of squidgy in the centre????
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:17 PM   #6
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squidgy - getting my culinary dictionary out right now :D
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Old 03-11-2002, 09:05 PM   #7
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jan612, are you talking about meringue PIES or meringues?
Meringue topping for pies needs to be less stiff than that used for meringues.
And Finally....you actually have a warming oven ??? How wonderful! I'm totally jealous!
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Old 03-12-2002, 10:30 AM   #8
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Merinues inthe warming oven

I couldn't fit a commercial unit into my kitchen, so opted for the futures aspects.
Considerations of selling - in a few years - gave us the thought that a matched set of SS Appliances might have more appeal. We very much wanted the bottom mount fridge (Drawer Freezer a necessity) and I wanted a level set of grates across the burners. We ended up with GE Profile. The stove has a warming drawer, and are you ready for this(?), with an adjustable temperature feature.
Meringues can dry there quite "out of the way."
Having said this, I have to wonder . . . Might the drawers in other units also become warm? Especially if the oven is in use?

Not to sure . . .

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Old 07-18-2008, 06:49 PM   #9
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Perfectly Stiff Meringue

When I was a young girl and my mother was teaching me how to make Lemon and Chocolate meringues, she impressed two things upon me. 1. Never allow the yellows to get into the whites, 2. Keep the whites cold. That is very hard to do in a hot kitchen. So I learned to do this.

Before beginning anything, choose an appropriate sized stainless steel bowl for whipping and put it in the freezer. Make sure the bowl is completely dry first. It will get frost on it anyway, but when you are ready to use it use a dry towel or paper towel and wipe any frost off from the outside of the bowl and the inside. Put the dry beaters in the refrigerator. Separate the whites into a cup and put the whites in the refrigerator. The key is cold, always cold.

Prepare every other part of your pie as usual.

When you are ready for your meringue, make sure your oven is preheated, and take everything out of cold storage. Put your whites along with half teaspoon of cream of tarter per 3 eggs into your mixing bowl and beat it at highest speed. The meringue will whip so stiffly you'll have trouble getting the meringue off the beaters. Then, you add sugar. I use 2 tablespoons of baker's sugar per egg. I use medium or large eggs per pie. Beat on high for a few moments to mix the sugar and you will still have stiff meringue.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:51 PM   #10
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For a good meringue you want fresh eggs and absolutely no fat and in a glass or metal bowl or the beaters. The whites should be room temperature the sugar should be a fine grind you can make it finer by processing in a food processor add the sugar slowly and beat to soft or stiff beaks depending on what you are trying to make, the sugar must melt down in meringue you can tell by feeling the meringue with your fingers you should not feel any grains of sugar. I personally do not like Cream of Tarter because I think it give the marinique a funky kind of tangy taste and once you master meringue you will not need it it's just a crutch to make it hold together. A copper bowl really helps but not necessary. I like to beat it a little slower to get sugar a chance to melt into it.
When making whipped cream you want the bowl, beaters and cream really cold but not so with egg whites.
"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it." - Julia Child
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