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WEATHER UNIVERSITY: Humid weather causes weeping

Meringues are tricky to create on humid, sticky days. - Maksim Shebeko
Meringues are tricky to create on humid, sticky days. - Maksim Shebeko - 123RF Stock Photo

I’m always saying that nature is one giant classroom and it is, but you can find little science lessons indoors, too, in everyday things like cooking and baking.

Some food is more finicky that others: take meringues, for example. Personally, I am not a huge fan of meringues, but I must admit they can be beautiful. A friend of mine loves them and makes them quite often. She takes them into work and they are quickly devoured.

day, she came to me almost in tears – the meringues she made the night before were not crispy and airy like they usually are. I wasn’t surprised; it was one of those hot, humid days last month. I told her for perfect meringue, she should check the weather outside before starting. You can’t make crisp meringue on a humid day.

Here’s why:

The sugar in the delicate egg white mixture easily absorbs moisture from the air that makes the meringue soft. When that happens, it’s virtually impossible to achieve thick, stiff peaks. Even a perfect batch can succumb to the weather. High humidity can make crisp meringues soft and make soft meringues weep.

To keep from weeping, make sure the humidity is low and bake away!

Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.

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