July 10, 2012

Meringues: Weeping Meringues and a No Fail Recipe for Meringue

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — caribbeanandworldrecipes @ 12:35 pm

Someone recently emailed us with a question about meringues: how to keep them from weeping. I asked the two experts that I know, our pastry chef, Marne and my mother. Marne’s first inclination was that she might not be beating the whites enough, therefor the sugar crystals are not fully incorporated causing it to weep. My mother automatically assumed that the eggs were not a room temperature when she started. So we put out collective heads and books together and came up with the following:

Tips for Meringue and a recipe:

1. Separate eggs while they are cold.

2. Allow whites to come to room temperature (always) since that is the temp they need to be beaten at to incorporate more air.

3. Use a small deep bowl and make sure the beaters are very clean (any grease will interfere with the beating) the whites will increase 2 1/2 – 4 times their original volume. A rotary hand mixer will make a soft meringue but you will need an electric mixer to make a hard meringue.

4. When the whites are beaten to the foamy stage, add salt and cream of tartar (1 tea to each 1 cup beaten egg whites) cream if tartar helps it reach maximum volume and increases the stability.
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5. The amount of sugar to add depends on the type of meringue: 2 T sugar to each egg white for soft meringues (toppings) and 4-5 T per white for hard meringues (shells). Beat in sugar gradually, 1 T at a time until no grains of sugar can be detected. The sugar is added when the whites have reached soft peaks; if added too early, meringue will not reach its full volume.

6. When spreading meringue, make sure it is spread over the entire surface so that the filling is completely covered and the meringue is attached to the edge of the dish. This prevents shrinkage of the meringue during baking.

7. To prevent weeping, make sure you bake them properly. Bake a soft meringue in a preheated 350 oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meringue, or until golden brown. Cool at room temperature. After it reaches room temp, you can refrigerate.

Here is an recipe to keep your meringue from weeping and it will hold up a a few days.

for a 9″ pie: 4 eggs at room temp, 6 T sugar, 1/48 tea salt, 1/2 tea vanilla

Put egg whites and sugar in mixing bowl and place the bowl in a pan of hot water. stir constantly, until whites feel warm, then add the salt and vanilla. Remove the bowl from the hot water and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff, firm and shiny. Spread on filling, taking care to cover and touching edges to seal. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until delicately browned.

Allow to cool before cutting or chilling.

Peggy Bloodworth left a job as a sales VP in a high tech company entertaining clients around the world for a personal chef and catering business where she is chef for swank party givers in Research Triangle Park, NC. More party ideas, recipes, menus and pictures can be found on her website swank website. She maintains a large garden and vineyard. Menus are well researched, recipes are mostly original and the ingredients are fresh, organic and frequently from her garden.

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