I’ve never been to Peru, or Namibia, or Egypt, but I cannot imagine they are drier than Wyoming, no matter what Our Amazing Planet says.
Technically speaking, Wyoming is no drier than my home state of Utah, (they both have average humidity levels around 55%) but you would never know that, listening to Robb complain that it is “SO humid in Utah!”
It is not humid in Utah, and I can prove it. My house is cooled not with the coveted central air conditioning, but with the much less expensive swamp cooler. I fully expect that many of you will not have a clue what a swamp cooler is, so let me explain.
The swamp cooler is a big ugly thing that sits on your roof. It has these pads inside. They get all soaked with water, and then a fan blows air across them and into the house. It’s a little like spraying water in your face and then sitting in front of a fan.
In other words, it’s artificial sweat. Because the real stuff isn’t classy enough.
What do meringues and swamp coolers have in common? Neither of them are at their best in humidity.
Let’s say it rained, and the air outside gets really humid. Adding more water to already wet air does not make one cooler. Or happier. Coincidentally, leaving meringues out in humid air does not make them stay crispy and delicious.
I made these adorable lemon mini-meringues when I had some friends over. They were all cute and crispy and yummy at the beginning of the evening, but after a couple hours of sitting out in the swamp-cooled house, they got all weird and sticky and turned into a big glob. Which is frustrating, and a little embarrassing.
As long as I keep these in an air-tight container with the lid on, they stay fresh and lovely, with their perfect light and crispy deliciousness. They also last longer. I guess kids are too lazy to take the lid off, because they disappear plenty quickly when I pour them into a bowl.
If you live in some part of the world with actual humidity, like Florida or Hawaii, I really don’t know what to tell you to expect from these meringues. They are certainly inexpensive and delicious enough to make them worth a try, though.
If you are ever traveling in Wyoming or Utah, bring meringues.
And a water bottle.
- 3 egg whites
- ¾ cup sugar
- dash salt
- dash cream of tartar
- zest of one lemon
- 2-4 drops yellow food coloring
- In a heat-proof bowl, combine egg whites and sugar. Place bowl over a pot of boiling water to create a double-boiler. Heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove eggs from heat, and add salt and cream of tartar. Mix on high for about 10 minutes, until meringue is glossy and forms stiff peaks.
- Gently stir in lemon zest and food coloring.
- Place meringue in a pastry bag (or plastic sandwich baggie with a corner cut off) and pipe in very small dots onto a baking sheet.
- Bake at 200F for 60-75 minutes.
- Store in airtight container.
If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:
Peppermint Meringues from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
Lemon Meringue Milkshake from Sweetapolita
Lemon Meringue Cookies from Joy the Baker