Last night I tried to make meringues for the first time (The harder kind that you can have with ice cream, not like you put on a pie). Anyway, I used 1/4" of sugar per egg white, whipped it up like the directions said. Everything looked really good and like I expected until I cooked them. The recipe I had said to cook them for 45 minutes in a 200 degree oven, and then leave them in the oven for an hour with the oven turned off. I did that exactly, but they still weren't cooked all the way through. The outsides were great, but then inside was foamy and uncooked.
Then I tried to cook them longer, at 220 degrees and of course burnt them!
What was my mistake? Should I have cooked them longer to begin with?
Thanks for any help!
Exactly, at 200° it's going to take quite a bit of time to dry out a meringue. A simple thing to do is to test one before deciding that they're finished cooking through, (they'll still be soft) or at least that it's time to turn off the oven and let them dry. The low temp is to prevent them from coloring, which they shouldn't do, so they take time.
chowser, you set your oven at 350° and leave the meringues in overnight, at 350°? Did I miss something or do you shut off the oven after preheating it and let them set overnight? You don't bake them at 350° overnight, right?
I think it's your recipe. There are many versions on cooking them. My favorite is to turn on the oven to 350, put them in an leave overnight. But at 200 degrees, I think they'd bake much longer than 45 minutes.
I just looked it up. For a 200 degree oven, it's 90+ minutes. I like joyofbaking recipes and have success with their recipes; though haven't made these, I trust their directions.
Sounds like your oven temp needs to be checked and perhaps adjusted.
Also what was the weather like when you made your meringues? If you made them on a rainy or humid day, you will probably have had to bake the meringues longer (could be up to 30 minutes more) than on a dry (or non-rainy) day.