Lemon meringue pie questions
Posted: 01 September 2011 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello. I made my first lemon meringue pie on Saturday. I’m sorry to say that it took me 3 hours from beginning to end. Had I known I was going to make it I would have at least made the pie dough the day before.

I had two issues. On making the filling, it got very thick, but the thermopen did not read the correct temperature, so I just left it as it was, not knowing what would happen if I took it too far. In practice, I’m having more trouble with the thermapen than I thought I would.

I was only making a half pie, so the amount of sugar syrup for the Italian meringue was quite small. As you can imagine, it was hard to take the temperature there as well.

I was trying to take the temperature to 238, which is what it says in the PPB. I noticed this morning, however, that in RHC, the Italian meringue recipes specify 248, and some of them also specify to put part of the sugar into the beaten egg whites first. But my main question is about the change in temperature. Should one always use 248 instead of 238?

I haven’t had much LMP, so I didn’t know what to expect, and wasn’t wowed the first day. But the NEXT day the lemon flavor was absolutely amazing. I was sorry to have wasted all those calories the day before. Yet so many recipes say it’s best the same day. Is that because it would get more weepy, generally, and the crust more soggy, which doesn’t happen with Rose’s recipe?

Thanks, Beth

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Posted: 01 September 2011 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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knit1bake1 - 01 September 2011 02:35 PM

I was only making a half pie, so the amount of sugar syrup for the Italian meringue was quite small.

Would it help to tilt the pan to get enough to cover the tip of the themometer?  Perhaps you were already doing this.

Should one always use 248 instead of 238?

A very good question.  While Rose uses 248F for Italian Meringue in most recipes, she does stick to 236F for her meringue-topped pies (Key Lime and Lemon).  I think this is because the meringue can be softer for a pie topping than for other uses.  She also uses less sugar than for her standard IM recipes.  I don’t think anything bad would happen if you wanted to go to 248F, but your meringue might be firmer.

I haven’t had much LMP, so I didn’t know what to expect, and wasn’t wowed the first day. But the NEXT day the lemon flavor was absolutely amazing.

Good to know, thanks!

Is that because it would get more weepy, generally, and the crust more soggy, which doesn’t happen with Rose’s recipe?

Probably- most recipes don’t use a hot sugar syrup to stabilize the meringue, so it might not last very long.  Or it could just be standard pie advice, slapped on every pie recipe from a given source as a matter of policy, regardless of how accurate it is for individual pies.

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Posted: 01 September 2011 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks, Julie. I was tipping the pan. since I only was using 2 egg whites I did it with a hand mixer. It worked well, the only issue being that one has to stop mixing in order to pour in the last bit from the glass cup. But I find doing 2 egg whites in the kitchen aid just isn’t worth it anyway. So there we were on the 2nd day with hardly any pie left, and it was so amazing. The first day it hadn’t yet been refrigerated

I was amazed, after making the pie, that on Masterchef the people had to make a LMP in one hour! How’s that even possible? I’d think you couldn’t really chill the dough much. Most of my 3 hours was spent measuring everything out, and having to take time to ascertain that I had cut everything in half. Even though I put the “half” amounts in the margins, I sometimes forget and put in the whole amount anyway.

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Posted: 01 September 2011 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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knit1bake1 - 01 September 2011 03:39 PM

The first day it hadn’t yet been separated.

Did the meringue separate or water out?  Or shrink?  I know a few other forum members have reported shrinking.

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Posted: 01 September 2011 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The meringue seemed fine (I was concerned after reading what was written recently). I had a few beads on the surface, small ones, but certainly no weeping at all. And I wasn’t sure if I was doing the Italian meringue correctly: because of the small amount I was making the bowl never got hot, so I couldn’t “beat until the outside of the bowl is cool.”

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Posted: 01 September 2011 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Sorry about previous post. I meant to say that the first day it hadn’t been refrigerated.

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Posted: 01 September 2011 04:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Ah, that makes sense smile

Did you see the correction for this recipe?  It’s basically to make sure to bring the lemon-starch mixture to a boil to make sure it thickens properly.

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Posted: 01 September 2011 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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And I think I didn’t do that because I was flustered. It was loose the first day, but fine out of the refrigerator.

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