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italian meringue


rocler
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I was wondering if someone could help, i made 16 lemon meringue pies for the tournament supper using Italian meringue as usual, and this time it was weepy and not staying in place. Any thoughts as to why, and could the humidity in the walkin have something to do with it?

thanks

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I always use Swiss meringue with double the amount of sugar to whites and warm to very hot before beating. It will actually begin to thicken around the bowl I am warming it in and be too hot to keep my fingertip in, then beat until cool. I have never had a problem with weeping and this lasts on the pies for many days.

check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

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Ok, just to let you know italian meringue, if made properly, will always be more stable than a swiss meringue. now that thats out of the way....

Any time egg whites whip there is not much holding the water and the proteins in suspension. Infact the more you agitate the proteins the more it wants to push water out. The only thing keeping the water in is the constant agitation, once it stops the water wants to fall.

Now, sugar and egg whites. Sugar can help suspend water molecules by dissolving and lining the proteins while they whip. The sugar can only hold on so long as well. The higher the temperature the sugar is cooked to the stronger the meringue. Thats why nougat holds up longer than italian meringue.

Meringue plus humidity. Remember that sugar is highly hygroscopic and will continuously pull in moisture from the air diluting the sugar and weakening its ability to hold the meringue. Soon the sugar and water molecules will start to slide out of suspension leaving the proteins to dry out.

Next time you need to use meringue to hold up for a while, stabilize it with a little bit of gelatin or other hydrocolloid and your suspension will stay much much longer.

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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