Meringue is a delicious choice for any sweet treat you want to make. It’s easy to prepare and is a welcome accompaniment to most types of desserts.
If you want to make a versatile dish for your family or guests, you should consider using meringue for both its flavor and visual appeal. This post will give you some great ideas for using meringue in your recipes.
What Is Exactly Meringue?
Meringue is made from a mixture of beaten eggs whites and granulated sugar. Known for its airiness, its signature look is its fluffy peaks. Legend has it that a Swiss chef invented it for Marie Antoinette. She then introduced it to France. There are several ways to use meringue in your baking to make a beautiful addition to almost any dish.
While you may associate it lemon meringue pie, you can use it in a variety of different desserts. It is a creative way to impress your guests. Let’s go over what you need to know to whip up a batch.
How To Make Meringue
The great thing about meringue is that it is not difficult to make. Depending on the dish, you can usually finish your baking within a couple of hours. The meringue recipe is pretty simple and straightforward. You can create the mixture in an hour or two. You need to follow a few steps.
Separate The Egg Whites
Separate your egg whites and place them in a large bowl. Allow them to sit at room temperature for thirty minutes. Letting the eggs stand will make it easier to beat them into a better volume.
Beat The Eggs
Next, you must beat the eggs. Before doing this, you should add a pinch of cream of tartar and vanilla. Combining these ingredients will stabilize the meringue and give it a flavor boost.
You can beat them manually, but it might be easier to use an electric mixer. Beat the eggs until it turns into soft peaks. You will know you have finished when they curl over when you lift the beaters out of the bowl.
While beating the eggs, you will need to add sugar. You should add one tablespoon at a time. Make sure you are adding the sugar gradually until the tips stand up straight. Take care that it’s fully incorporated into the mixture.
Be careful. You don’t want to add the sugar too quickly, or you might beat the air out of the egg whites. If this happens, it will be harder to mix them thoroughly.
Beat The Eggs Into Glossy Peaks
After adding the sugar, keep beating the mixture until the sugar dissolves and you see the glossy peaks. If you’re not sure whether or not it has dissolved, rub some of the meringue between your fingers. If it is smooth, you know it is done.
Make sure you don’t feel any sugar granules. When it’s complete, you’re ready to start creating your masterpiece. There are several dishes you can make using meringue. First, let’s discuss some flaws that can affect its appearance.
What To Look Out For
If you haven’t made meringue before, it might take a few tries to get the hang of it. There are a few things to look out for when you’re making it.
Sometimes, small beads of moisture might appear on the surface of your meringue. That usually happens when you overcook it. If this happens, increase the temperature of your oven and lower the amount of time you’re baking it. If you use a temperature that is too high, you might end up browning the surface.
Weeping is another issue that can occur when you’re making meringue. It happens when moisture or liquid forms between the meringue and the other layer of the dish you are baking. For example, if you ’re making a lemon meringue pie, the liquid will appear between the meringue and the lemon filling.
To avoid it, make sure you’re not spreading the meringue on a cold filling. It’s better to spread it while the filling is still hot or warm. The heat from the filling will start to cook the egg whites and solidify them.
If you’re baking a pie, you might notice that the meringue is shrinking from the edges after you take it out of the oven. You can avoid this by spreading the meringue on the crust so that it can adhere to it.
Magnificent Meringue Macarons
Macarons—not to be confused with macaroons—are a tasty treat you can share with your friends and family. They are made by sandwiching a cream filling between two meringue cookies.
Macarons are known for their crisp exterior and chewy interior. You can make them using egg whites and ground nuts. The nuts prevent them from becoming too dry and crispy and add a pleasant crunch.
There are a variety of fillings you can use to make macarons. These include:
- Buttercream frosting
- Whipped cream
Macarons are typically small, but you can make them in any size you wish. They are not a common dessert in the United States, which makes it unlikely that your guests will have ever tried one. It is a unique dessert that is sure to impress.
Since you can use several different types of fillings, macarons are a versatile treat. You can customize them to the tastes of your family and friends. Feel free to experiment with your own creations.
Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon meringue pie is a classic dessert and a popular choice at bakeries and restaurants. If you’re not sure what to make for your guests, lemon meringue pie will always come through in a pinch. This type of pie includes a shortcrust as the foundation. Then, you’ll top that with a lemon custard filling with an airy meringue as the crowning feature.
A Swiss baker named Alexander Frehse invented lemon meringue pie in the 19th century. Since then, it has grown into one of the most popular desserts in the rest of Europe and the United States.
To prepare a lemon meringue pie, you will need egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice. It usually has the consistency of pudding. You will cook the meringue on top of the lemon filling. The air bubbles will expand as it bakes. If you beat the eggs too much, then the meringue might collapse, so be careful when you’re beating the eggs.
Passion Fruit Tart With Meringue
Tarts are a yummy treat, especially when combined with meringue! It’s a versatile dish so you can add other types of fruit as well. We think you’ll love this passion fruit tart from King Arthur Flour.
To make it, you will first preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out the pastry and form a 9-inch ring. Let it chill for twenty minutes. Then, line it with baking paper topped baking weights. Bake it for ten minutes.
Take out the paper and put the pastry back in the oven for another ten minutes so that the base will dry. At this point, you want to turn the temperature down to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Scoop out the pulp of the passion fruit and place it into a sieve over a jug or bowl. Stir it until all of the pulp is pushed through the sieve. Mix the pulp with your egg yolks and 5 ounces of sugar. Note, you will separate the eggs beforehand, so you will only be adding the yolks, not the egg whites.
Add 5 ounces of cream. Pour the mixture into your pastry case and bake it for 30 minutes. Remove the pastry and turn the temperature up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wait until ten minutes before the tart is ready and beat three of your egg whites to begin making the meringue. Using a spoon, place small gobs of meringue on top of the pastry and bake it for five to ten minutes.
Like macarons, meringue cookies are a great snack or dessert food. Not only that, they are incredibly easy to make. You’ll only need four ingredients, so it’s perfect for those situations when you don’t have a lot of time.
One of the great things about meringue cookies is that you can use food coloring to create any colors you want. When you make the meringue for the cookies, make sure you use egg whites at room temperature. The sugar will dissolve easier. Also, using finely-ground sugar will help it dissolve more quickly.
First, you will make the meringue in the way explained previously in this post. Remember to add the sugar slowly as you beat the eggs. After you have your mixture, use a teaspoon to scoop out the meringue. Put them on a foil-lined baking sheet about one inch apart.
Before starting the process, preheat your oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the cookies for about 45 minutes, then turn off the oven. Let the cookies sit for about one hour. After they cool, you can serve and enjoy your culinary masterpiece.
Meringue dishes are fantastic treats that your friends and family can enjoy. We’ve given you some remarkable ways you can use meringue, but by no means is this list definitive. There are plenty of other ways to use meringue in your baking. These include:
- Lemon meringue floats
- Raspberry meringue pie
- Chocolate meringue brownies
- Pistachio and rosewater meringues
All of these recipes will delight all who sample them. Since meringue is so simple to make, you can experiment with it to come up with your own creations. With a little bit of practice, you can become a meringue master in no time.