Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 4 large egg whites

  2. 3 tablespoons water

  3. 1 cup packed light brown sugar

  4. 2/3 cup sugar

  5. 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer but do not mix them yet.

  2. Pour the water into a heavy saucepan and add both sugars; do not stir. Attach a candy thermometer to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. When the sugar syrup reaches the hard-ball stage, approximately 253°F, remove from the heat.

  3. Whisk the egg whites on low speed briefly, then on medium speed, until they are frothy and have increased in volume. Add the cream of tartar. Pour in a little of the sugar mixture with the mixer off and then quickly turn it on medium-high to combine the syrup. Continue in batches this way. When all the sugar syrup is added, turn the mixer to high and continue mixing until the whites develop a stiff peak (demonstrated by a peak that when pulled with the back of a spoon, takes a strong shape and does not slump back down afterwards). The meringue will cool as it gets there but will still be slightly warm.

  4. Scrape the warm meringue onto the chilled pie and use a spatula to shape it into a smooth dome, pushing gently. Be thorough when spreading meringue on a pie and make sure you form a seal between the meringue and crust all the way around. Otherwise, if there is any exposed filling the meringue will “weep,” or release moisture, creating a watery mess. Use the back of a wooden spoon or spatula to pull the meringue up into peaks. Style away until the meringue topping is covered with curvy, pointed peaks. Work quickly, before the meringue cools and sets.

  5. Use a propane kitchen torch to evenly brown the meringue. Point the flame slightly above the peaks to avoid flare-ups. If you don't have a torch, place the pie in a 400°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the peaks brown nicely.

  6. Cut and serve the pie immediately or chill it until needed. If storing it overnight or longer in the refrigerator, use toothpicks to prop up plastic wrap to cover the pie. It will last up to 3 days refrigerated.


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