Challenge: Absurdly tall Meringue?
So I really love meringue. The pie (lemon, coconut, chcocolate, etc.) is less relevant than the tasty light sugary peaks of meringue. Does anyone have tips/recipes for desserts where the meringue is scrumptiously architectural in stature? The best I have seen so far is at Clark's Outpost-- a barbecue joint in Tioga, Texas. But being in Washington, DC, I feel like I need to learn to make my own.
Also-- what does one do with all the yolks?
If you have or can find (at your local library maybe) issue # 38 in Fine Cooking magazine there's a great recipe for lemon meringue pie with a brown sugar meringue that was very huge, quite lofty. It specifies that you use C&H brown sugar.
I found the brown sugar killed some of that "fishy" smell that you sometimes get in meringue.
I top my banana pudding (vanilla custard, Nilla wafers, and bananas layered in a 9x9 baking dish) with a meringue made with six egg whites. I pile it on top and make high, mountainous peaks with a large serving spoon. Brown in a hot oven for about 20 minutes. This a great dessert for a barbecue (or any other time really.)
I do swiss meringue, with the hot sugar syrup thing. I prefer the texture. It's all about the number of egg whites you use tho...6 will give you one whopping heap. When I do that, I move the oven rack to the bottom lest I lose any on the top element.
As for the yolks, I make lemon curd. YUM! Or chiffon cake.
Use superfine sugar and a bit of cream of tartar when whipping the whites for meringue. The superfine sugar dissolves better in the whites and the cream of tartar helps to stablize the whites and keep them high. Be sure that the beaters and bowl are spotlessly clean and that you get net a speck of yolk in the whites. Fats and yolks which have fat will keep your whites from getting volume. Also bring your eggs to room temperature before whipping. If you have to start with cold eggs, put them in a bowl of warm water to bring their temperature. You will get better volume from the room temp. whites than cold.
When you are browning the meringue on top of the pie be careful that the heat is not too high so that you do not get a lot of weeping.