Rainy Day Meringue Tips Needed

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PA Baker

Master Chef
Sep 1, 2004
USA, Pennsylvania
I'm taking Wednesday off from work to do all of my Turkey Day baking. I just checked the weather and saw it's supposed to be rainy here. I'll be making meringue for my chocolate meringue pie--any tips on how to do this successfully in damp, humid weather?
My mother, ironically, was better at opening cans for dinner than just about anything else, other than making wonderful bread. But, without a single doubt in my or others minds, she made THE BEST Lemon Meringue Pie on the planet! Beyond the best tasting lemon curd I've ever known, it was her meringue...thick, mile-high and never, ever weeped. Guess what? It is also weather-proof!

My husband's mother made a pretty good one, too. And he always raised his eyebrows at now my technique at making meringue...right up until we watched the America's Test Kitchen episode on making the World's Best Lemon Meringue Pie. Their recipe and method? A precise and exact duplicate of my mother's. According to them, this is a "pro secret" to stabilizing a meringue. (That quelled the raised eyebrows hence!) My mother finds their "pro secret" hysterically funny. She says hers came about as a total happy accident one day with some cornstarch...

There are two parts to her meringue. Here's what you do:

Part 1: Combine 1/3 cup water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into a saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat until the stuff thickens and clears and vaguely resembles Vaseline. (No. Not kidding here.) Allow the stuff to cool completely to room temperature.

Go ahead and pull out 4 large eggs from the fridge, separate and set the whites aside to come to room temperature, too. Reserve the yolks for another use.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar. Mix well and set aside.

When the cornstarch mixture is cooled...:

Part 2: Place the egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla into a scrupulously clean mixer bowl. Begin whisking slowly at first until it begins to foam, then increase speed to high and begin adding the sugar mix one tablespoon at a time, whisking until the sugar is dissolved before adding more. Repeat until all the sugar is aded and whip until soft peaks form. Now, turn down the speed to medium and begin adding the cornstarch mix in spatula-sized globs (half to a third at a time) and incorporate. Raise speed to high and whip until you reach a very stiff, thick peak. They will be firm, rigid and glossy.

Dollop about 2/3 of the meringue around the pie perimeter and spread toward the center, then add the remainder to the center building a dome. Then spike with the back of a large spoon.

Bake in a 325-degree (F) oven for 20-30 minutes until the meringue is a light brown.

This one's just right for you, PA. I've made it many times in absolute downpours with narry a disappointment!

Happy Baking!
Thanks, Audeo!
I'll substitute the meringue that goes with my chocolate pie recipe for this one. Sounds like it will do the trick! I'll be sure to toast you and your generations of culinary experts with an extra slice on Thanksgiving! :D
Really, the only thing you have to remember is to go light on the sugar. Too much sugar causes the meringue to draw water from the pie and the atmosphere.
PA...this recipe is from Tyler Florence form the Food Network. With the use of the candy thermometer it should not weep...regardless of the weather.
1 cup superfine sugar
1/3 cup water
5 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a small pot over low heat, combine sugar and water. Swirl the pot over the burner to dissolve the sugar completely. Do not stir. Increase the heat and boil to soft-ball stage (235 to 240 degrees). Use a candy thermometer for accuracy. Wash down the inside wall of the pot with a wet pastry brush. This will help prevent sugar crystals from forming around the sides, falling in and causing a chain reaction. Prepare your meringue.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the eggs whites on low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium, and beat until soft peaks form.

With the mixer running, pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over fluffed egg whites. Beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. Spread the meringue over a hot cake or pie, and bake as directed.

For Meringue Cloud Cookies: Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Dollop spoonfuls of meringue onto baking pans, alternatively you may use a pastry bag with a star tip. Bake for 2 hours until crisp. Turn off the oven and allow meringues to cool and completely dry out.
Just got my chocolate meringue pie out of the oven and it's beautiful!!! :D Thanks everyone! I'll eat slices for all of you!
*drools on key board*

That sounds AWEFUL!!!!!!!! You better not eat any, you might get sick!!!!! Just go ahead and send it to me, and let ME do the suffering! LOL


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