It's not every day that you make a pie with meringue, so if that's what you're doing, try this version of meringue!  It is so much more reliable than regular meringue, holding up beautifully and less likely to "weep," and hence to make you weep as well. 

Italian Meringue

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  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Baking Time: 2-3 minutes
  • Serves: 8
Italian Meringue on Lemon Pie


1c. sugar

2/3 c. water

6 egg whites

Plus you'll need a candy thermometer.


  1. Mix sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, and boil without stirring, until syrup reaches the hard-ball stage (248° F). This takes a while (maybe 15-20 minutes or more). Don't stir it!  If you’re cooking at altitude (over 3,500’), adjust the temperature accordingly.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites – slowly at first, then faster – until stiff peaks form.
  4. When the syrup is ready, slowly pour it into the beaten egg whites, continuing to beat. Avoid pouring the syrup onto the bowl or beaters – aim for the whites. Continue beating until the meringue is cool and stiff, about 5 minutes.
  5. Preheat the broiler and adjust a rack so that the top of the meringue will be 3” from the heat.
  6. Decorate the pie with meringue, making sure to “attach” it to inside edge of the crust. I spread a layer of meringue flat over the filling, then pipe on the rest in swirls.
  7. Broil the meringue until it is golden brown (1-2 minutes), watching carefully.
  8. Cool and serve at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers, if there are any.

Baker’s Notes and Tips and Tricks

You’ll need a candy thermometer for this recipe, to get the sugar syrup to the hard-ball stage. You’ll need patience, too, as this recipe takes longer than most. (It’s worth it.) Also, the hot syrup -- in effect -- cooks the egg whites, ensuring that the whites are cooked to a safe temperature, which is why you can get away with just broiling the meringue to brown it instead of baking it for 10-12 minutes.

I’ve found this Italian version of meringue to be more stable and less likely to “weep” than standard meringues that involve beating granulated sugar into egg whites. 

Recipe Submitted By

Rebecca Jo Dakota
Italian Meringue

Recipe Originated from

Look & Cook, Perfect Pies and Tarts, anne Willan

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