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Jan 4, 2010 05:15 AM

Weeping Meringue

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. 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

      Thanks! I will watch and learn from a master!

    2. 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

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

      2. 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: I stand by the Fannie Farmer recipe and my advice about how to make sure it sets well.

        3 Replies
        1. re: BernalKC

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

          1. re: toveggiegirl

            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

            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. 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. 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.