Answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding baking.
A meringue is a mixture of beaten egg whites and granulated sugar. Meringues are said to have been invented in 1720 by a Swiss pastry chef in a small German town call Meyrigen.
Egg whites are beaten enough, if, when cut with a knife, the cut remains visible. The surface of the foam is smooth and shiny.
If you have experienced a meringue that slides off the filling or a soggy pie crust, you have experienced "weeping". This is when the meringue begins to give up the water and hence, the term "weeping". Meringue toppings don't always hold up for long periods of time, particularly in humid weather. Refrigeration makes meringue weep more quickly. Let your pie stand at room temperature in a draft-free spot before serving. After a few hours, it will need to be refrigerated.
It is not recommended that you add lemon juice to the Dr. Oetker Lemon Pie Filling as it is an acidic agent and causes the starch to thin, resulting in a thinner consistency pie filling.
Separate eggs while they are cold. Allow egg whites to warm to room temperature (let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, or in warm water for 5 minutes); they will reach a higher volume than cold egg whites. Use a small, round deep bowl made of glass or stainless steel; plastic bowls can absorb grease which hinders the foaming action of egg whites. When egg whites are beaten to the foamy stage, add salt and cream of tartar (1 tsp each to 1 cup unbeaten egg white). Cream of tartar is an acid salt which will make it easier to beat the egg whites to maximum volume. It also increases the stability of the egg white foam and produces a more tender meringue. The sugar is added when the egg whites have been beaten to soft peak stage. Beat the sugar in gradually, 1 tablespoon at a time, until no grains of sugar can be felt when a small amount is rubbed between the fingers. When the sugar is well-dissolved, it holds moisture more effectively, making weeping less likely. Perfectly beaten egg whites hold firm peaks and look glossy and moist; over beaten whites are stiff but look dry. Spread meringue on a warm pie filling, completely covering the filling and sealing the meringue right to the crust all the way around. To maintain a high volume, spread and bake meringue as soon as the egg whites are beaten. Bake a soft meringue in a preheated 325°F to 350°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meringue, or until golden brown. Keep oven door closed if possible until meringue is completely baked. Cool the meringue at room temperature to help prevent beading. Cooling should be gradual, away from drafts. When it is completely cold, it should be refrigerated.
Yes, keep the following pointers in mind when making meringue: Separate eggs while they are cold. Allow egg whites to warm to room temperature so they can be beaten to incorporate more air. Use a small deep bowl and grease free beater since fat interferes with the proper beating of egg white. Egg whites should increase 2 1 '2 to 4 times their original volume. When egg whites are beaten to the foamy stage, add salt and cream of tartar (1 teaspoon each to 1 cup unbeaten egg white). Cream of tartar is an acid salt which will make it easier to beat the egg whites to maximum volume. It also increases the stability of the egg white foam. The meringue will also be more tender. When preparing the meringue, beat the sugar in gradually. 1 tablespoon at a time, until no grains of sugar can be felt when a small amount is rubbed between the fingers. The sugar is added when the egg whites have been beaten to soft peak stage. If sugar is added before this time, maximum volume will not be reached. When spreading meringue on a pie, it is important to completely cover the filling and contact the edge of the dish crust. This will prevent shrinkage and weeping of the meringue . When the meringue shrinks, tree water will be force from the topping and will be released off to the filling or crust. Spread soft meringue over hot filling, sealing the meringue right up to the crust all the way around. To further prevent weeping meringues, it is important to bake them properly. Bake a soft meringue in a preheated 350 F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meringue, or until golden brown. Cool the meringue at room temperature and it will not bead. Cooling should be gradual, away from drafts. When it is completely cold it should be refrigerated. Humidity or rain may cause sugar to absorb moisture from the air. resulting in meringue with a sticky, spongy texture. Drops of sugar syrup may form on the surface of the meringue.