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Monday, January 05, 2009

The Heartbreak of Meringue

Good thing I took these pictures when my Coconut Cream Pie came right out of the oven, because when I went back later the meringue had separated from the edge and it was all weepy.

So why? The rule I knew about and tried to follow was: Seal the meringue all the way to the edge. Believe me, I tried very hard to follow this. Maybe the culprit is one of these other rules.

1. Do not make meringue on a humid day. Well if this is true, I will never be able to make it as it is always humid here. And beside, my sister's meringue was perfect when she made it here in my kitchen and I'm using her recipe!
2. Add the sugar slowly and make sure it all dissolves. Hmm, I may have been too afraid to over beat the egg whites. Must come from making butter while whipping cream. I wonder if there is a YouTube video on what makes a soft or stiff/glossy peak?
3. Filling must be hot when the meringue is put on. I took my filling off the stove while I made the meringue. Was it too cool? Sunset Magazine tries to explain this bubble theory in an article I read here.
4. Ma-rang weeps 'cus Pa-rang ran off with another sweetie-pie. I read this one on a google search and I think it's bogus.

Addenda: 5. Egg whites must be at room temp.

The recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, the "Meredith" edition.


debbie said...

now you really didn't have to reveal what happened post-photo session! the pie looks great - i'm hoping it tasted as good as it looked.

santos. said...

my kitchen generally has abt 98% humidity (it rains in the doorsill) so the only meringues that work are cooked, like swiss or italian. italian meringue will be a little more backache, but produce less heartache.

KnitPastis said...

i would have to eat it anyways: looks yummy

Jennifer said...

I don't make pies, but I make meringue cookies and mine differ based on the humidity in the house... but I'd say that's because the humidty fluctuates too much. Meringues are huge in Brazil - and it's very humid there, too. I add cream of tartar to my room temperature egg whites before I beat them. That's my super secret add.

I'm going to check out the Italian meringue link now...

Anonymous said...

Your pie looks picture purr fect, imo & I bet it was yummy.