Thursday, 3 March 2011

How To: Meringues

Someone asked a general question on a forum about meringues: me, I know nothing about how to make them, but my mum does - and hers are always light and crisp.  So I asked her for tips:

  • The recipe itself doesn't much matter (in that you can expect it to work if you do the following)
  • That said, here's a recipe - 2 egg whites (with NO trace of yolk, if you break the yolk, use it for an omlette! it's best to break each egg into a separate container to make sure you don't mess up the batch) and 2 oz granulated or caster or soft brown sugar (they'll be a bit beige).  Beat egg white until it peaks, and then beat in ONE QUARTER of the sugar only until it's stiff again.  Then CUT & FOLD in the rest of the sugar - if you beat the rest of the sugar in, the texture will be wrong.
  • Once the sugar is in, work quickly as the ingredients will separate.
  • Bowl and whisk must be totally free of any fat else the egg whites won't whisk up
  • Use baking paper, greasproof paper or foil to line the baking tray.  If the liner won't stay down, put a dab of oil on the tray itself at the corners to hold the liner to it.
  • Don't put the meringues in a cold oven, they'll run & weep.  
  • Preheat your oven to about 300F or 150C, then when the meringues are ready, open the oven door wide, switch the oven down to its lowest setting and put in the meringues. 
  • Leave the door ajar a little bit if the oven doesn't lose heat very fast and watch the meringues carefully for the first 15mins, moving trays down to a lower shelf if they begin to brown. 
  • Then, shut the door and leave them alone (other than swopping trays between top & bottom to cook them evenly) for 2 hours.
  • When the meringues are cooked and firm, peel them off the liner and put them back on the liner upside down in the oven for another 20 mins.  You can switch the oven off at this point - it's just using the residual heat to dry them out.
Bon Appetite!


  1. I will be passing this onto my husband - he will be very grateful!!! Myself, I tried cooking meringues once as a teenager and learnt my lesson...

  2. I've been meaning to try making meringues! Thanks for the little push.

  3. I've been making meringues forever and I didn't know about the cold oven - that explains a lot. Thank you!


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