There are several more complicated meringue recipes on this site, but this recipe makes great meringue simply. I'm not sure the cream of tartar is necessary. Cream of tartar is supposed to be a stabilizer, so if you're worried about it turning out, just throw in a couple of dashes. I agree the meringue doesn't need this much sugar; I use 6 tablespoons of sugar with 4 egg whites, and it's plenty sweet for us. I've also added 1 t. vanilla when I want it to be a little more flavorful. Things to remember when making meringue:
1. Make in a very clean steel or glass bowl; grease will break down your meringue. Don't use plastic bowls!
2. Egg whites must be pure; if you get a little yolk in them, it's full of fats that will break down your meringue.
3. Beat on high until the peaks start bulging out in front of your beaters. For me, this takes about 7-8 minutes.
4. Add the sugar, vanilla, and cream of tartar when you are about halfway to 3/4 through.
5. If you want the meringue to not separate and make a liquid layer on your pie, put it on your custard or filling while it is still hot. The hot custard cooks the meringue from the bottom, and the oven cooks it from the top. If you put meringue on cool filling, the bottom of it may stay raw and can separate.
6. When you put on the meringue, use your knife to meld it to the edge of your pie crust.
7. Cook in a 350F oven for 7 minutes for lightly browned.
8. Make right when you need it; make it too early and it will set up in the b
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There are several more complicated meringue recipes on this site, but this recipe makes great...