Meringue is no Joke, People

When I was young, my great grandparents would take my brother, sister and me to a cafe in Broken Bow, NE. If I remember correctly, I believe it was Charlene’s? Or maybe that’s what we called it…

There was an older woman who would always wait on us. Great grandma always had her hot water for tea. I remember wonderful mashed potatoes and gravy, and my brother and I always ordered chicken nuggets and Mountain Dew. The dream lunch of all 5-10 year olds. And some days, we were allowed to order chocolate malts. I’m not talking about the shakes you can order at any old fast food joint. These were the delicious malts of yesteryear. We watched a magical malt machine churn out the dessert into an icy metal cup. This was the kind of treat that ruins you for all other treats!

What does all this have to do with meringue?

My memories of this cafe are some of my fondest memories with my great grandparents. It was the type of cafe that only exists in small towns, and I hope that each of you have experienced a place like this. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the pie case filled with apple, cherry and peach pies next to lemon, chocolate, banana cream and coconut cream pies with mile high meringue. You know the kind… When the meringue is just as deep as the filling!

I never attempted to make meringue until this weekend. And it really is no joke!

Meringue instructions appear very simple, but don’t be fooled! It took three attempts to top my homemade chocolate pie with somewhat presentable meringue.

Failure Attempt #1
“Whip egg whites until they become fluffy…”
What the H does that mean?! I whipped the whites with a fork and they became a little bubbly. Does that count as “fluffy?”

It does not.

Failure Attempt #2
I was smarter this time; I watched a YouTube video!

When searching for a video tutorial, I recommend finding someone with a skill level close to your own. Don’t watch some top chef like I did..

While I finally learned how to make my egg whites fluffy using a whisk
, they were not fluffy enough and sat on top of my chocolate pie like a greasy, gooey excretion.

Yes. Gross.

Attempt #3
Success-ish!

I found a YouTube video from what’ sounds like a lady who would play cards with my grandma every Saturday. Bless this woman with for meringue for dummies tutorial and her use of a mixer.

Thanks to her video, I was able to produce the pie seen below. It’s not going to win the blue ribbon on the fair or take a place of honor in the cafe pie case, but I’m proud nonetheless!

20140713-140357-50637318.jpg

If you’d like to make a meringue, I recommend watching this video beginning at the 4:10 time stamp.

Can you make an awesome meringue? I’d love to know your secret!

3 thoughts on “Meringue is no Joke, People

  1. Looks good! Your dad doesn’t like the mile-high kind, so yours looks exactly right. I haven’t made this kind of pie in a long time, and I probably won’t, so you can be the pie guru in the family! I have been tempted, however, to make a homemade angel food cake. I haven’t had one in a long time, but I remember thinking they were soooo delicious! Since I get fresh eggs from Janet and Ed, sometimes for nothing!, I thought I should try it. (It takes a dozen egg whites, and then you can use the yolks for homemade noodles, also a treat.) And speaking of old-time baking recipes, Sammy made cream puffs this afternoon. That’s something I remember my grandmother making on Saturdays for all of us after the weekly shopping was done. Good memories. I liked reading about your outings with your great grandparents. We still eat at that little café now and then–we should all go there and relive the old days!

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