How to Make Meringue: What You Need to Know
Meringues are delicious treats and are excellent as a treat in their own right or when combined with other desserts to make a truly delectable sweet treat. Meringues are incredibly simple to make, however many people do not fully understand how to make meringues.
When it comes to making the perfect meringues, there are a number of different recipes and tips that you should follow. Many people will have their own favorite methods and ingredient combinations, and some people might even like adding additional ingredients, colorings, and flavorings in order to make their meringues exactly as they want them.
But how do you make the perfect meringues, anyway? There is so much contradictory information available on the internet and making sense of all of the different recipes and tips is important in regards to ensuring that the meringues which you bake are perfect for your needs and desires.
What Makes The Perfect Meringue?
The perfect meringue will largely depend on the baker’s personal preferences for meringues, and features of the perfect meringue will also be dependent frequently on the purpose of the meringue; for meringues that are going to be topped with chewy and moist toppings, a crunchier meringue might be preferable in order to give a little variation in texture. By contrast, if the meringue toppings will just be moist, then a chewy and ‘marshmallows’ meringue might be the better option. For meringues which are not going to be given a topping and which are intended to be enjoyed as they are, chewy meringues are usually preferred.
What Dishes Can Meringues Be Used In?
Once made, meringues can then be used in order to sweeten and add texture to a number of dishes. Meringues are often used as the base for a delicious Pavlova, or in dishes such as Eton mess or lemon meringue pie.
Pavlovas feature a meringue base which is topped with a selection of the ripest and freshest fruits.
- Eton Mess
Eton mess is a dish where whipped cream is combined with chunks of flaked meringue pieces and fruit. The most commonly used fruit in Eton mess will often be strawberries or raspberries.
- Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon meringue pie is a treat made from rich lemon curd encased in a pastry shell, all topped with a thick layer of chewy and marshmallows meringue
How To Make Meringue
There are a number of ways in which meringues can be made, but these will always revolve around two simple ingredients: egg whites and sugar. Meringues can be made either crispy or chewy, depending on the preferences of the consumer and baker.
Before starting any meringue recipe, you must always start by separating the egg whites from the egg yolks. The easiest way to do this is, unsurprisingly, with an egg yolk separator, but many people may attempt to do it by cracking an egg into their hands or a bowl and removing the yolk manually. It is important to be careful at this stage, as even the smallest amount of egg yolk may interfere with the meringue’s ability to fluff up and thicken. In this regard, it is also important to ensure that all of your cooking and baking utensils are spotless; even a small amount of grease or contamination may again stop the mixture from working properly.
How To Make Crispy Meringues
In order to make meringues that are delightfully crispy and crunchy—ideal especially for small meringue bites, or meringues that will be used in dishes such as Eton mess—you only need to make a very simple meringue recipe.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
First, take three egg whites that you have already separated and begin whisking the egg whites slowly (with a small pinch of salt) with a machine mixer until the whites begin to thicken; you can tell when the egg whites have thickened enough when the mixture has gone white and forms small, semi-stable peaks when the mixing utensil is lifted from the mixture. This will usually take about a minute.
One the egg whites have been mixed to the point that they form peaks, you can add half a cup of sugar gradually; always ensure that you do this slowly in order to prevent the egg white peaks from collapsing (sugar should ideally be added a tablespoon at a time, whisking gently with each addition).
At this point, if you are using any food colorings or flavorings for your meringues, they can be added now by slowly and gently folding them into the egg white and sugar mixture.
Spoon the meringue mixture onto a baking tray and bake in the middle of your preheated oven until the meringues hold their shape and lift from the baking paper cleanly; this will usually take about 2-3 hours. Your meringues should then be allowed to cool fully before serving.
How To Make Chewy/Marshmallows Meringues
In order to make your meringues chewy or marshmallows in texture, you should follow the same basic recipe as above but make a few small additions. For one, adding a little corn flour will help to make the mixture more sticky and chewy when it is baked; additionally, the meringues should be cooked for longer at a slightly lower temperature (for example, at about 170 degrees Fahrenheit) in order to prevent them from going to dry and crispy in the middle.
Regardless of your preferences or intentions for your meringues, it is always important to know the best ways in which to bake meringues so that you are always prepared whenever the need for a delicious sweet treat arises! Meringues are exceptionally versatile and can be used in a number of different dishes, and are particularly great in summer when strawberries and fresh fruits are at their ripest. Alternatively, they can be combined with less seasonal dishes such as lemon meringue pies in order to make a delicious spring or fall treat that will delight the senses.
- How to Make Pie Meringue – HowStuffWorks
- Meringue Recipes That Will Impress Everyone This Summer – HuffPost