Easy Meringue

meringue-cherry-chocolate-nectarine

Egg whites are Magic.  I’m convinced.  They can do a lot of tricks, like this incredibly easy meringue.  And I do a lot of baking, so believe me when I say that this is the easiest dessert ever!!  So what is a meringue?  Well, a meringue is made of just two things: beaten egg whites and sugar.  The incredible thing is how much you can do with just these two ingredients based on how long the egg whites are beaten and how much sugar/how the sugar is incorporated.  This recipe is what’s referred to as a “common meringue” because egg whites are beaten, sugar is added in, and thats it; super simple.  Other types of meringues can involve whipping hot sugar syrup into the egg whites, or using a double boiler to cook the egg whites and sugar.  Any how, let’s get started!

Equipment you will need:

  • Stand mixer or handheld mixer (or wire whisk if you have a lot of time and energy)
  • Measuring cups
  • Baking tray lined with parchment paper or silicone mat
  • Spatula

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Sauces and/or fruit, nuts, etc. for topping

First off, preheat your oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.  Measure out sugar and separate egg whites making sure to get NO yolk in the white…actually, let’s have a sidebar real quick.  Really, the only rule with egg whites is to keep them away from fat.  Any fat will grease them up so they  slip around on each other and won’t foam.  Egg yolks are mostly fat, so this can be a problem if the yolk breaks.  Either be very careful when separating the two, or buy egg whites in a carton to be on the safe side…OK, back to it.  Get the whites into a large bowl or stand mixer bowl and beat on high.  Immediately they will make a wet foam.  The more they are mixed, the more volume and stiffer they will foam.  When you see a nice solid white foam, its time test.  Turn the mixer off and plunge the whisking tool straight in and out.  Turn it upright and examine the peak on the end of the whisk.  If it’s completely slumped over, this is a soft peak.  If it’s firm but lays over when the whisk is tapped, this is a medium peak.  If it stands firm and tall no matter what you do, this is a stiff peak.  Stop at stiff peaks otherwise the foam could collapse on itself.  Now, with the mixer still running, slowly add in the sugar.  You may have to stop from time to time and wipe down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, but that’s ok.  It may look like the foam is collapsing once the sugar is added, but don’t worry.  The Sugar is actually stabilizing the foam.  Keep whipping on high once all the sugar is added, and in anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes you will have a stiff and glossy meringue.  Transfer the meringue to a baking tray lined with parchment or a silicone mat, and spread with a spatula.  I actually like to add peaks and valleys and a lot of uneven texture to the surface.  This adds a nice contrasting bite between crisp and chewy parts.  Now, in the oven and bake for an hour.  Once its out, serve it, save, it, or snack on it.  The wonderful thing is that this dessert offers a fantastic texture and base for other ingredients like fruit, chocolate, nuts, etc. and is gluten free.  And best of all, the finished result will make you look like a professional pastry chef.  So give it a try and comment below to let me know what you think!

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