bp's science: meringue (v.1)

Halloween is past and Thanksgiving is coming upon us. I've been thinking about making a pumpkin pie with meringue on top. I'm a bit nervous because I've never made meringue. There are two reasons why:

1. It appears to be a very arduous process.

2. Using all of those egg whites and not the yolk kind of goes against my waste no food ideas. See pathetic example of such beliefs here.

Getting over reason number 2, that may involve trying to figure out how to use just egg yolks in a recipe (any ideas anyone?). But getting over reason number 1 may just involve learning a bit more about the process.

Basically meringue is a protein-sugar mesh created by beating. Beating egg whites denatures the proteins (unravels them) and adding sugar enables them to come together and create a molecular crystal-like structure with lots of air. This results in a puff of meringue that is eight times the volume of the unbeaten eggs. It turns out that creating the meringue is half of the battle. It must be cooked at precisely 325 degrees and it must cook evenly throughout. How is this done? See here.

After learning about this, I am not feeling all that confident about meringue. I'll give it a try and let you know how it goes (that is, if I can find a way to use those yolks!

1 comment:

Da said...

I have a great idea! I'll be your test dummy, not a problem. And with the yolks, you can make Deviled Eggs, (egg) cake, scrambled eggs, and all kinds of goodies! And I'll even try those too! SUNDAY!