Italian Meringue Weeping
I have been making Italian meringue successfully. Its thick & glossy. However as soon as I put it in the fridge it starts weeping within 2-3 hours. Is this normal?
What is the best way to store Italian meringue as ideally I would like to make it ahead of time & put it in a piping bag for use later.
My recipe is as follows :
40g sugar per egg white
Squeeze of lemon juice in ceramic bowl
Beat the egg whites until firm peaks
Heat sugar syrup to 121c
Drizzle on to egg whites & whisk until bowl is cool to the touch (10min).
Any help would be appreciated.
I've never had the problem but you peaked my curiosity so I looked it up. This might be helpful, from Shirley Corriher:
It just occurred to me, when I was reading that, that my immediate assumption was that you're making buttercream but I don't know if that's the case. Corriher's is about Italian meringue, not the buttercream one. Which are you looking for?
Thanks Danna! I'll try not refrigerating it. I know that the egg whites don't get fully cooked by the sugar syrup but it should be ok for a day I think.
Thanks Chowser! Its for Italian Meringue (not for butter cream, I find adding butter makes it to heavy. I love the light airy texture of italian meringue). Had a quick browse through the book, it looks amazing, exactly the type of book I like to read. Its not just a recipe book but it explains what potential problems you may encounter and how to resolve it.
I'll let you guys know how the next batch goes, thats if I ever find the time to do it.
How long do you want to hold it? I think you could leave it out on the counter all day with no problem.
Or possibly, make youre meringue via the stovetop method like you would for a white mountain or 7 minute frosting. Those frosting are SO much more stable when whipped by handmixer over a double boiler than when made via the cook and pour method, so perhaps it would help in your application.
Ideally I would like to make the meringue in the morning and for it to be used for dinner at night.
I believe I may be overwhipping the egg whites, I'll try beating until soft peaks next time.
I'll also add some cornstarch to see if this remedies the problems
Thanks for all the suggestions, I'll try them later and let you guys know how it goes!
I would seriously not refrigerate it. For instance: when I make a cake w/ a meringue frosting, like coconut cake, I then leave the cake at room temp for several days, until it's all gone. It never weeps, and it's certainly not going to go bad. I think the only problem might be if it stiffens up too much to pipe. good luck!
The reason your meringue weeps is that it is undercooked on the bottom, and some of the moisture that is held in suspension in the egg foam seeps out all over the pie filling.
So the first part of the solution is never to let your filling cool before smoothing on the meringue. In fact, the filling should be piping hot to help set the bottom of the meringue.
If that doesn't solve the problem, there are other solutions, none of which are perfect.
An option many people take is to add a teaspoon of cornstarch to the sugar before beating it into the meringue. The cornstarch absorbs extra moisture, and has the added bonus of keeping the whites from becoming overbeaten.
Another option is to sprinkle finely ground cake crumbs over the surface of your pie filling before topping it with the meringue. If the meringue weeps, the crumbs absorb the moisture, and, whether or not there is weeping, the crumbs dissolve into the pie.
Other people add things xantham gum, arrowroot, etc., but those tend to mess with the texture and taste of your meringue.
Best bet? Top your pie quickly with the meringue so that it sets.
ipsedixit - that was my first thought as well but those solutions are more suitable for a french meringue that is then put on the pie and rebaked (at least in my experiences). The italian meringue may not be re-cooked in the oven, it could just be piped and torched. So things like cake crumbs, hot pie, etc won't necessarily fix the weeping problem. I think that is a piece of the puzzle that may help us figure it out.
I'm assuming this meringue is on top of a pie of some sort and then baked????
If that is true - it is because your meringue is not fully cooked so there is some moisture (typically on the bottom of the meringue near the pie) is still "free". When the meringue cools it forces this moisture to the surface. You can do 2 things, one making sure your pie is warm when the meringue is added and baked to insure it is cooked through. Others add some cornstarch to the meringue to help absorb any of that residual moisture.
Okay I just typed that and re-read that you are referring to an italian meringue. My second guess based on your recipe is that you are over whipping your whites. If the eggs are really at firm peaks when you add the hot sugar syrup and then rebeating for 10 minutes you are probably over beating them. This can cause the proteins to change and instead of holding all the moisture, it can actually (without being too science-y) start contracting and forcing moisture back out.
Those are my guesses. The first is more for a french meringue that is then baked on top of a pie - so I'm still thinking overbeating. Try beating until soft peaks and then add the syrup.