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Weeping Meringue

Sargent Jan 4, 2010 05:15 AM

Attempting to bake a lemon merinque pie. Last two attemps ended up with weeping meringue and a filling that really didn't set up well. Used the superfine sugar for the merigue.
Is it adding lemon juice (recipe said juice of 2 lemons) at last moment?
This shouldn't be that hard. Tips will be appreciated.

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  1. k
    kmcarr RE: Sargent Jan 4, 2010 05:39 AM

    Alton Brown did an entire episode of Good Eats on lemon meringue pie addressing many of the common pitfalls including weeping meringue. Here is a link to some videos from that episode:


    The meringue is discussed in video #2, at about 2 minutes in.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kmcarr
      Sargent RE: kmcarr Jan 4, 2010 03:50 PM

      Thanks! I will watch and learn from a master!

    2. t
      toveggiegirl RE: Sargent Jan 4, 2010 07:25 AM

      Whip egg whites in glass or metal (no plastic!) and make sure that every dish and utensil is spotlessly clean and completely dry. The tiniest bit of grease or moisture can really mess up a meringue.
      To prevent weeping, add the meringue to a hot filling.
      For some tips:

      1 Reply
      1. re: toveggiegirl
        Sargent RE: toveggiegirl Jan 4, 2010 03:50 PM

        Appreciate the tips! AND the links. THere is no reason to have weepy pie!

      2. BernalKC RE: Sargent Jan 4, 2010 04:00 PM

        I don't know about weeping meringue. Never had that problem. For me, getting a nice uniform pattern of curled peaks is a challenge, and getting my gas broiler to toast them evenly is hard, but my meringue is sturdy enough.

        As for the filling, see the discussion here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/612065 I stand by the Fannie Farmer recipe and my advice about how to make sure it sets well.

        3 Replies
        1. re: BernalKC
          toveggiegirl RE: BernalKC Jan 4, 2010 05:22 PM

          The Fanny Farmer recipe contains cornstarch which also prevents weeping.
          Here's the recipe:

          1. re: toveggiegirl
            BernalKC RE: toveggiegirl Jan 4, 2010 05:32 PM

            Funny how many variations of the FF recipe there are. The one you link to sounds iffy to me since it does not call for the cornstarch mix to be cooked before adding the egg. To me that is the key step

          2. re: BernalKC
            Sargent RE: BernalKC Jan 4, 2010 06:03 PM

            Thanks - this recipe looks like the one I tried... question - when cooking the filling - do you wait till it is really thick? I did the time stated in my recipe and now I am thinking I didn't wait long enough. My filling was loose too. (it tasted good tho :-)) Okay - re-read all the psots from the link you provided. You have answered the question in this reply. I am now anxious to try again. Thanks for your help.

          3. shaogo RE: Sargent Jan 4, 2010 05:40 PM

            I'm guilty of perpetrating weepy pies on loved ones.

            I use a recipe from The Joy of Cooking that requires lots and lots of lemon. It bakes up looking absolutely splendid with wonderful peaks that brown up evenly. But then it weeps. Not a great deal, but caramel-colored droplets spread about an inch apart from each other. We've always just chalked it up to the lack of stabilizers (e.g., corn starch) in the filling and the meringue.

            This post makes me wanna bake a lemon meringue pie. Hopefully if I apply the tips contained above, it won't weep this time.

            1. n
              Norm Man RE: Sargent Jan 5, 2010 12:14 PM

              To prevent weeping meringue, Cook's Illustrated recommends adding a bit of cream of tartar to the egg whites before whipping them into meringue.

              If you have no cream of tartar, Cook's Illustrated says a bit of vinegar or lemon juice will work too.

              1. n
                nickblesch RE: Sargent Jan 25, 2010 10:42 AM

                I am new to meringue pies, so I'm not sure if my problem is "weeping" or not. I added my meringue to a cold filling - homemade lemon curd - and baked it for about 25 on 325. It got decently brown, but the meringue now appears to be "floating" on top of a thin layer of liquid between it and the filling. I assume it's fine to eat, if a bit unappetizing, but it there any way to fix it?


                1 Reply
                1. re: nickblesch
                  bushwickgirl RE: nickblesch Jan 25, 2010 11:05 AM

                  That's weeping. Cold filing is the problem. I put my meringue on a hot filling which cooks the bottom of the meringue slightly, sealing it, and spread it right to the pie crust edges to "seal" it. Then bake to brown.
                  Read through some of the links from other posters in this thread. You'll see what I'm talking about.

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