How To Make The Perfect Meringue That Won’t Weep Plus Beautiful Recipes
Meringues seem to be to one of those mythical baked goods that scare people senseless when in reality, they’re pretty simple to make. For something that requires so few ingredients (essentially egg whites and sugar), they have a bad reputation for being difficult. Well, if you’re not one to be scared off and want to master the art of the sugared treat, then let us show you how to make perfect meringue.
Different Kinds of Meringues
Before we embark on the journey to meringue greatness you’ll need to understand the different types of meringues.
French meringues are the most recognisable, they’re the very stiff, crunchy ones that are often crushed up into an Eton Mess. Egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks, and then sugar is gradually added and beaten until dissolved and the mixture is glossy and stable. They are baked and result in a dry shell-like texture. A general rule of thumb to follow with these is to double the amount of sugar to egg, which is handy when you have a load of egg whites leftover.
The next type is an Italian meringue, which is soft and almost creamy. This type of meringue is made by beating cooked sugar syrup into the stiff egg whites, which is then beaten until stiff glossy peaks form. This meringue is often used to top lemon meringue pie, cupcakes or becomes an icing, but can also form the base of macarons.
The last type of meringue, the Swiss meringue, is the least common one. The texture is similar to that of an Italian meringue but instead of adding cooked sugar to the egg whites, the two are combined and gently cooked together over a double boiler. Once the sugar has dissolved, the mixture is then whipped to glossy peaks.
How to Make Perfect Meringue
>> Make sure the bowl you use is clean, completely grease-free and dry, this ensures your egg whites will cling to the side of the bowl as they increase in volume. The perfect meringue requires the perfect egg whites.
>> Be sure to use fresh, room temperature whites. Fresh eggs are a lot more stable and room temperature eggs are easier to whisk lots of air into.
>> Separate your eggs properly and ensure there are no flecks of egg yolk, any fat will stop your egg whites from whipping properly.
>> Add a pinch of cream of tartar once your eggs are whisked to a foamy stage for extra stability.
>> When beating your egg whites to make the perfect meringue, make sure that you beat to stiff peak. Sometimes, to double up on that stability, you can beat them until they are so stiff they seem almost dry. Trust us.
>>When making an Italian meringue, make sure you use a sugar thermometer for your syrup. You need the temperature to be at 114 ºC and you can’t guess that.
>> If you need eggs yolks for another recipe, using the whites for meringue is an excellent idea. If you can’t make them straight away, keep the whites in a clean, airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple of days.
Make Perfect Meringue with these Recipes
Lemon Meringue Pie
An all-time favourite that tastes even better than it sounds!
Cupcakes with Raspberry Curd and Italian Meringue Topping
Use your recently acquired knowledge about Italian meringue to make these beauties.
Brown Sugar Pavlova
We love the fact that brown sugar gives this pav a golden hue.
Pavlova with Poached Pears and Pomegranate
This is a seriously elegant way to end a dinner party.
Beetroot Cake with Meringue Topping
Use meringue to create an incredible topping for your beet cake.
Raspberry Ice Cream with Sorbet and Sticky Meringue
We love this fresh raspberry sorbet sitting on top of a bed of sticky meringue.
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