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Making magnificent meringues (in your manor)

October 10, 2012

I could have used “at home,” but it doesn’t sound quite as… regal. Or awesome. What a coincidence! That’s what these meringues are- awesome. They’re also super easy to make if you have a stand mixer, cookie sheet, and, you guessed it, a pastry bag.

A couple of tips for these meringues:

  • Be sure to make these when the outside humidity is low. If there is excess moisture in the air, they won’t turn out. I try to make them when the humidity is 40% or less. Check your local weather before attempting.
  • Since many recipes contain several egg whites, I like to make these when I have something that I want to make that has several yolks. No waste, and I get a two-fer out of the eggs. Double score. For this round of meringues, I’m making this pecan pie recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.
  • I like to make a template on the parchment paper for my meringue nests. I will grab a cookie cutter, peanut butter lid, anything that is the size I want my meringue and use as a template. Using a pencil, trace around the template. Do this for each meringue. Flip the parchment piece over before piping your meringue on top. Unless you want lead-flavored meringue, of course.
  • You can use a round tip for these, but I prefer using a star tip (like the 1M) because it adds depth to the finished product. They look pretty awesome either way.
  • Separate the egg whites from the yolk while the eggs are still cold. The egg whites need to sit out at room temp for 30 minutes before you beat the crap out of them. Always break your eggs and separate over bowl “A”, place your yolk in bowl “B”, and place the contents of bowl A to another bowl (bowl “C”, maybe?) Never break and attempt to separate over all your separated whites. You’ll be pissed when you get yolk in all of your whites. I smell my eggs when I break them too. If it smells funky, don’t use it.
  • Make sure that your tools, such as the mixing bowl, attachment, and anything else that is going to come into contact with the eggs whites is very clean. For the meringues to work, there cannot be any fat in the vicinity.
  • Use a small amount of cream of tartar with the egg whites to help stabilize them

There are several meringue recipes out in the web-verse, but there are two that I prefer: Ina Garten’s meringues Chantilly for my meringue nests and America’s Test Kitchen’s meringues for the cookie version. I prefer to make French meringue over Italian because they are simpler to make. Italian meringues use hot syrup poured slowly into the beaten whites that produce a denser cookie. I want the light, glossy, crackly ones. I can eat 20 and not feel guilty. I could eat 20 of the others and not feel guilty either, it’s a talent of mine.

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From → Pastry Bag

2 Comments
  1. I love meringues, especially with ice cream! My auntie makes them as a tradition in our family on Christmas day as one of the desserts. I usually eat them with ice cream, brandy cream and strawberries (which makes it healthy right?). I agree with the French meringue rather than the Italian as I like it crackly on the outside and a little gooey in the middle… Yum!

  2. I’m glad this brings fond memories to you, Hollie! My aunt just came back from a trip to England and got us all hooked on Eton mess. I honestly haven’t been able to stop thinking about them. And yes, any time you add fruit it becomes healthy :)

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