Basic meringue

Basic meringue
  • Serves icon Serves 6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 15 min, oven time 1 hour 15 min-1 hour 30min, plus cooling

Think meringue is too fiddly or time consuming to make from scratch for a pavlova or roulade? Think again!

Make perfect meringues every time, with this easy basic meringue recipe.

Then as soon as you’re feeling like a pro, be inspired by the recipes in our marvellous meringue collection – over 30 to browse.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
121kcals
Fat
trace (trace saturated)
Protein
1.6g
Carbohydrates
30.6g (30.6g sugars)
Salt
0.1g
Calories
121kcals
Fat
trace (trace saturated)
Protein
1.6g
Carbohydrates
30.6g (30.6g sugars)
Salt
0.1g

Ingredients

  • 3 large, organic egg whites
  • 175g white caster sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 

FAQs

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).

delicious. tips

  1. 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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Reviews

Read what others say...

  1. I’ve tried lots of meringue recipes before, that haven’t worked so well, but this one works extremely well! The secret seems to be to add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, and whisk well inbetween. The meringues puffed up beautifully (and stayed that way), and were lovely and crisp on the outside, slightly soft in the centre. I left some in the oven (switched off after cooking) overnight, and they came out completely crisp, all the way through.

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