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.