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YES! You CAN Unmold a Meringue Pie Shell!!!

Aug 13, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose

Meringue_Shell.jpg>

Recently, I learned a great tip from my cousin's wife Vicki who comes from Australia and now lives a mere hour away from us. We were talking about the famed Pavlova--a fabulous crisp meringue shell with marshmallowy interior, filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Woody and I had made numerous tests to perfect the consistency of the meringue for our upcoming Rose's Baking Basics book. I've always baked my meringues by piping or spreading them on parchment, which effectively prevents sticking. Vicki, however, said that she instead dusts the pan with cornstarch and the meringues slide off with ease. Of course I just had to try this immediately with the always tricky/sticky piped meringue baked in a pie plate, featured in The Baking BIble for the "Pomegranate Chiffon Pie."

Prior to Vicki's suggestion, I had recommended coating the pie plate with vegetable shortening and then dusting with Wondra flour. It was always difficult to remove the first piece, and not that much easier to achieve attractive slices. (Note: meringue does crumble when cut.) My first test was using cornstarch instead of flour and the meringue still stuck. I suspected that the shortening did not coat evenly so the next test was coating the pie plate with non-stick cooking spray and then dusting it with cornstarch. This test proved to be the charm.

I waited impatiently for the meringue to cool completely and then dislodged the very top edge along the rim with the tip of a small knife. I hesitatingly nudged the meringue forward slightly and, to my great joy, it moved. Holding my breath, with my fingers, I then lifted out the entire meringue shell onto a plate. I gazed at this wondrous sight, but it didn't take more than a few minutes to start wondering how it would work with just the non-stick cooking spray and no cornstarch. I coated the pie plate with non-stick cooking spray and removed excess with a paper towel. Instead of piping the meringue, I just spread an even layer into the pie plate. Without the cornstarch it was more difficult to spread the meringue.

Spread_Meringue.jpg

At the same time and temperature (and the day was actually less humid) the meringue was still a little gooey in places so I returned it to the oven because meringue will not unmold in one piece if not completely dry. It stuck in places even when completely dry, which indicated that the cornstarch is necessary.

Conclusions:

Piping the meringue makes it easier to make it consistent in thickness but spreading it looks just as good.

Non-stick cooking spray plus cornstarch is ideal and makes it possible to unmold the meringue. Non-stick cooking spray alone is slippery, which makes it harder to spread the meringue, and will not be possible to unmold in one piece.

With or without cornstarch, non-stick cooking spray makes removing the slices much easier than shortening and flour.

Comments

Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Rosa V.
11/25/2016 01:54 PM

was worth the search! you did a magnificent step by step.

REPLY

Hi Rose, my name is on the right side bar almost to the bottom of Marie post.
Simply Delicious (Rosa).

REPLY

Hi Rose, my name is on the right side bar almost to the bottom
(Simply Delicious) Rosa .

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Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Rosa V.
11/25/2016 01:02 PM

Rosa, i can't find it on the alpha baker's site or on yours. where is it posted?

REPLY

My is posted all ready Rose.

REPLY

Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Rosa V.
11/25/2016 12:51 PM

so glad Rosa! please be sure to add photo on the alpha bakers FB page!

REPLY

Hello Rose I decide to just make a honey Wafer graham crust with lemon zest and walnuts and butter, it came out wonderful and absolutely delightful!

REPLY

I think my above response went to wrong person. So sorry.

REPLY

Thanks Rose. I am very cumbersome with piping!!!! However, the Rose pie plate scallops will be so lovely that I may try it, and then just pipe another Pyrex small gratin with leftover. We'll see. Just for fun. 😍

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Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from JoanWade
11/22/2016 09:09 AM

you're right, Joan, this recipe calls for a deep dish pie plate. pyrex ones are so inexpensive it's worth getting unless you want to try the rose pie plate and just use proportionately less. you could even put the extra filling in dessert goblets or dishes. the rose plate would be just as non-stick as pyrex and the scalloped edge could be lovely as long as you spray it and dust with the cornstarch. your call!

rose pie plate is 4 cup capacity and deep dish pie plates are 7 cup so you'd need less meringue as well.

REPLY

Hi Rose- I only have one pie plate, yours, and I believe it is smaller than these directions? Also has scallops etc - does that matter to the meringue? certainly not expensive to replace, I just wondered? ThxπŸ•Š

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Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from JoanWade
11/20/2016 11:33 AM

yes Joan and Vicki! i was hoping you'd use this as it makes all the difference.

REPLY

Great tip for us to try in the Pomegranate Pie 😍

REPLY

Just in time!

REPLY

Thank you so much Rose for your condolence ,I put a tribute on my blog on (Simply Delicious) if you'd like to see it your welcome and thank you again.

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Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Rosa V
08/23/2016 03:26 PM

so sad to hear this Rosa. all my best to you and your family.

REPLY

Hi Rose I can't wait until the new cook book comes out ..P.s. I have not been blogging for over a moth , My Mother passed away a week ago and I hope to be back for the new cook book. Thank you for take this time to ready my message.

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Hi Rose I can't wait until the new cook book comes out...

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Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Odoi
08/20/2016 10:25 AM

thanks Odoi--the wedding cake book is in the hopper but the baking basics with over 500 step by step photos will be next. also working on my fav subject--ICE CREAM!!!

REPLY

Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Barbie
08/20/2016 10:13 AM

thanks Barbie!

REPLY

Great news you will have a new book but I thought your next book will be a wedding cake book.

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Your cookbooks are well worth the wait!

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Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Barbie
08/14/2016 05:57 PM

thank you Barbie! we anticipate Fall of 2018.

REPLY

It's great to hear there will be a new cookbook coming...is there a date for its release yet?

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Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum
08/13/2016 02:13 PM

Hector, non-stick cooking spray and pam are synonymous and, in fact, the one i use, but the reason i didn't mention the name pam is that they also make a spray with flour that doesn't work well at all.

i suspect baker's joy would not work as well from the non-stick point of view because the flour doesn't seem to perform as well as the cornstarch, but the reason i didn't try it as that it is slippery and would make it hard to pipe or spread the meringue.

REPLY

How about using bakers joy? And conversely, to make a wheat free cake, instead of bakers joy, can we use pam and corn starch?

REPLY

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