- June 2007
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 15 min, oven time 1 hour 15 min-1 hour 30min, plus cooling
Make perfect meringues every time, with this easy basic meringue recipe.
- trace (trace saturated)
- 30.6g (30.6g sugars)
- 3 large, organic egg whites
- 175g white caster sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 140°C/fan120°C/gas 1. In a large, grease-free mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. While continuously whisking, slowly add the caster sugar – 1 tbsp at a time – until you have a stiff, glossy meringue mixture. Whisk in the vanilla extract until combined.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper, fixing it in place with a tiny blob of meringue in each corner (we have a short video showing this technique). Using a metal spoon, place 6 craggy dollops of meringue on the baking paper, well spaced apart.
- Bake for 1¼ hours for mallowy centres, or 1½ hours if you prefer crisper meringues. Peel off the baking paper, then transfer the mallowy meringues to a wire rack to cool, or leave the crisp ones in the turned-off oven for at least 4 hours to cool slowly, then transfer to a wire rack.
When should you use French meringue?
It is best to use French meringue when the meringue will be cooked further, either on a pie or to make crisp meringues (for nests, shards etc). If not cooking further, you should use Swiss or Italian meringue.
What are the 3 types of meringue?
French, Swiss, Italian (there are others but these are considered the main ones). French meringue is made with raw egg whites and sugar. Swiss meringue is made when eggs and sugar are cooked together before being whipped to cool (this type or meringue is the most dense and more stable than French meringue). Italian meringue is made with a hot sugar syrup being added to whipped egg whites. This cooks the eggs and creates the most stable of all three meringue types.
Do you need cream of tartar for meringue?
No but it can help to stabilise the egg whites.
What is the difference between meringue and pavlova?
Meringue is crisp and might have a chewy centre (depending on how long it's cooked for) while pavlova has the addition of cornflour and vinegar, resulting in a thinner crust and a soft mallow middle.
How do I make my meringue chewy?
Cook for less time. The less cooking, the more chewy it will be in the centre.
What does vinegar do for meringue?
It makes a stable foam so that the meringue better holds its shape (same as creme of tartar and lemon juice aka acid).
To make these meringues into nests, make the recipe up until the end of step 2 (dolloping the meringues onto the lined baking sheet). Using the back of a metal spoon, press the centre of each meringue down, making a shallow hollow and creating a ‘nest effect’. Continue with step 3.
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