My First Meringue
Chocolate cream pie with a meringue topping is a two person job (especially if you don't have a standing mixer, although women for years made it without one). One of the key elements of putting the whole thing together is to spread the freshly whipped meringue over a piping-hot filling, so the meringue sort of cooks on contact and doesn't break down and weep. So I have my arms stretched across our small kitchen, stirring the bubbling chocolate custard with one hand while I hold the running mixer in the meringue with the other. The other key is to prevent shrinking by spreading the meringue to cover all the edges of the pie.
I did have a problem, though. As the pie sat, sweet little amber-colored beads formed on top of the meringue. It wasn't exactly weeping in the traditional sense, where there's a watery layer between the meringue and the filling. I was thinking maybe it was because the meringue was overcooked, because the recipe I used cooked it at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. But the texture of the meringue was just what I like, foamy but solid, so I'm not sure that's it. Any ideas?