Meringue High Class of 2009

What a long crazy trip it’s been.   Seniors Forever! This is the Meringue Class of 2009. Let’s look back on all the Cookie Madness meringues of 2009. Luckily, they all occurred in the past 10 days. Time is different in meringue land.

Class Clown – Famous Dave’s Meringue

This meringue was a joke. First there was the cornstarch/sugar gel. Fine, I get that part. But when you bring in the coffee grinder things get comical. You shouldn’t need a coffee grinder to make meringue, but hey-why-not-try-anyway-for Pete’s sake. But in the end, it still wept. It was likable, though. Tasted good.  Who doesn’t love the class clown.

Best Hair Alton Brown’s Meringue (Or the one he used on this pie, at least)

I didn’t bother with the filling because nothing in the recipe looked particularly interesting, but the meringue was unique in that it only had 2 tablespoons of sugar to 4 eggs. End result was a meringue that piled high, but tasted eggy and didn’t have much going for it other than an nicely browned top. And even in the looks department, it wasn’t spectacular because it was on the foamy side – stiff, but not glossy and high peaked. Alton Brown walks on water, but we have different ideas about meringue. Then again, he probably has 700 other meringue recipes.

Miss Congeniality – Betty Crocker’s Luscious Lemon Meringue

Betty Crocker’s meringue was, at least for a while, my favorite. It was practical, easy and tasted great. It wept a little, but even Miss Congeniality has her issues.

Biggest Egghead – CI Dessert Bible Meringue

Sue and I loved the lemon meringue pie from the Cooks Illustrated Dessert Bible, but the poor meringue still wept. Or at least mine did. Or maybe I baked it 4 minutes too long and it was my fault completely, but I probably wouldn’t make this one again because despite the logic behind it, it was too much work for the amount of taste and it still wept. Oh, and it needed that extra 4 minutes to look brown enough.  All that plus, it didn’t form beautiful soft and shiny peaks like Betty’s. But it tasted good and with CI’s filling, I’d say it was part of the cool crowd.

Most Likely to Succeed!

Shirley Corriher’s Meringue! Or as Shirley calls it in Bakewise, Carol Moore’s Meringue. This meringue has a secret ingredient – marshmallow cream. I started in on it with healthy skepticism and in the end was rewarded with the shiniest, perfectly peeked, weep-free, no-candy-thermomenter required, meringue. I used it on a chocolate pie and will post that recipe in its entirety later, but here’s the meringue. I’d be happy to use this one on just about any meringue pie. The vanilla was my addition. The original didn’t have any.


Favorite Meringue So Far — From Bakewise

1/3 cup cool water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
7 oz jar of marshmallow crème
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Have your crust ready and begin prep for your filling. Make this meringue first so you’ll have it ready to put on a hot filling.

Whisk the cold water and cornstarch together in a small saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, until mixture forms a thick gel; remove from heat. In bowl of stand mixer, starting at a low speed and gradually increasing (this should help break up the cream of tartar lumps), beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. When soft peaks form, beat in the marshmallow cream in 3 parts. Mixture should look smooth and start forming stiff peaks. Beat in 3 tablespoons of gel (for me, that was about all of it) and then beat in the vanilla. At this point you should have still peaks. Set it aside for a few minutes while you make the filling.

Spread the meringue over your hot filled pie and bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Cool at room temperature then chill for 4 hours or until pie is cold and set.

Related posts:


  1. CindyD says

    Looks great and sounds doable. Now that you mention it, I think I’ve heard that marshmallow cream was the secret ingredient in the meringue on the pies at our favorite Amish restaurant in Ohio.

  2. Louise says

    So I think the proper thing to do is use CI’s filling and this meringue and you’ll have a winner all the way around.

  3. Claudia says

    Alton Brown’s recipes never work for me; I used to like his show, but too many of his TV recipes either don’t taste good to me or don’t work…. ah well, he has enough fans to succeed

  4. says

    Too funny, Anna! I love it! And it sure sounds like a lot funner high school than mine was. Now mallow creme, I can see me liking that more! 😉

  5. Louise says

    I’d still like to see the “Texas Big Hairs Lemon-Lime Meringue Tarts” from Rebecca Rather’s “the Pastry Queen”. The meringue is just egg whites and sugar. Guess I’ll have to try it myself, but I’ll wait until it’s cooler and drier here. Maybe we’d have the Prom Queen. @:-0

  6. lindsay weiss says

    Anna- this post is genius in the food writing department, seriously. Not only did I learn something (marshmallow creme in meringue? who knew?), I laughed the whole way through.

    You should pitch this to a magazine…one that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Everyday w/ Rachael Ray maybe?

  7. says

    Dorie’s meringue is just egg whites and sugar, too. There were some great looking meringues on the TWD board yesterday with the Creamiest Lime Cream Pie, but I didn’t see/hear anyone mention any weeping and the like. Did you try a meringue that was just egg whites and sugar? You could add her to the list–Plain Jane maybe? 😉

  8. Arlene says

    Please advise what is the 3 Tablespoons of gel you refer to? I don’t know what that is?

  9. says

    This makes me laugh out loud. You are seriously funny!!!! And, the best part is you came up with another meringue that I MUST try!! It looks like it answers all of my meringue issues. With the Dessert Bible filling I think we have a winner!!!! (Yes, that’s a lot of exclamation points, but I’m really excited! How dorky is that to get this excited over meringue!?)

  10. Amanda says

    Love all these comparisons! That is a beautiful meringue! I have only made meringue twice in my life, both in the past week, once was today. AND it was on a chocolate pie. How’s that for coincidence?? 🙂 I didn’t think there was enough sugar in my meringue today, it used powdered sugar. Dorie Greenspan’s used granulated sugar and that tasted better, but I scorched that one LMAO

    Oh well, move on to the next one right? 😉

  11. says

    Thanks for the comments! About the “egg white and sugar only” meringues, I have a feeling those, depending on the proportions, are perfectly good. However, I read that cream of tartar helps stabliize it and since I have cream of tartar, I like using the recipes that put it to good use. I’m not sure how much it’s helping, but it’s not hurting.

    As for the marshmallow cream meringue, it is definitely my favorite by far.

    Arlene, the gel mentioned in the directions refers to the gel you make in the first step using the mixture of cornstarch and water. I think it gives you a little over 3 tablespoons. The original recipe said to use only 3 tablespoons of it.

    Tanis, I’m going to put a new pie together using all the favorites and it will definitely call for this meringue. As for the filling, I’m torn between Cheryl’s and Cooks Illustrated. Both were excellent. I’m also going to commence a search for the best chocolate pie. This one used the meringue from above and the chocolate meringue pie filling from Martha Stewart. Todd liked the flling, but I had some issues and want to keep searching.

  12. says

    I’m a little challenged when it comes to making meringue. I love a tart lemon meringue pie, like my dad did, but honestly, have never made one. Maybe it’s time to give it a try.

  13. Louise says

    Anna, you must be reading too much Robert L. Wolke. Cream of tartar, which is a salt, lowers the pH of the egg white mixture. A stable egg-white foam depends on the coagulation of its several kinds of proteins, among which the best foam producers are know as globulins. The right acid conditions make the globulin proteins lose their mutually repulsive electric charges, thus making it easier for them to coagulate in the bubbles’ walls and make them stronger, like balloons made of stronger rubber.

  14. says

    Thank you so much for all the work it took to compile and try out these recipes! I, for one, have never tried a meringue pie – but I think now that I know how each recipe will turn out – I know where to start! You’ve inspired me 🙂

  15. Cheryl says

    The use of the marshmallow creme looks like a solution to the weeping issue! Were you satisfied with the flavor compared to the traditional meringues. Is the result sweeter than using sugar?

  16. Sue says

    Just made this today! It’s great and delicious— as for the weeping, shirley says that’s due to being undercooked– maybe the CI recipe was browned on cold filling?? it’s hard for me to believe CI could ever do wrong!! (but their bad for not saying bake it on hot filling!)

    thanks for posting such a great easy recipe!

  17. Beverly says

    This meringue is not only perfect, but it actually tastes good; most meringues have little flavor. The marshmallow gives it body as well as flavor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *