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Sweet treats that are light as air.

Paige Grandjean

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Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe Summary test

active:
20 mins
total:
20 mins
Yield:
4.5 cups
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Making a perfect meringue is a skill that every home baker should have in their repertoire. But if you need a lesson on how to make meringue, our Test Kitchen professionals are here for you. We've got all the tips and tricks you need to know in order to perfect this elegant sweet. There are several ways to make meringue, but we prefer this Italian-style method, which is very stable and less likely to "weep" in Southern humidity.

A few tips to ensure that your meringues come out perfectly light and crisp. (1) Pick a dry day. Don't make meringues during rainy or very humid weather, if possible. Sugar will absorb water from the air, turning them soft and chewy. (2) Avoid cold eggs. Let the whites stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Or place whole eggs in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. (3) Keep the egg whites moving. If whites reach soft peaks before the sugar syrup hits 240°F, reduce the mixer speed to low until the syrup is ready. Then increase the speed, and gradually add the syrup. (4) Check the bowl. Make sure the mixing bowl is completely clean. If there are any traces of fat, the egg whites won't whip up. (5) Use a thermometer (or 2). An instant-read thermometer is the most accurate tool to measure the temperature of the sugar syrup (240°F). An oven thermometer is also helpful to have on hand. If the oven is running hot, the meringues will burn; if it's too low, they will take too long to dry out. (6) Secure the parchment. If the sheets of parchment paper curl up, dollop a small amount of meringue in each corner to hold the paper in place.

Meringue is endlessly versatile; we think of it as a blank canvas, ready to be made into any number of confections. Once you've mastered the basic technique, the opportunities are endless. Try your hand at piping with our Mini Meringue Kisses, perfect for garnishing elegant cakes or tarts. Experiment with flavor infusion with Raspberry-White Chocolate Meringue Sandwiches or Lavender-Ginger Twists.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place sugar and ⅓ cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low, swirling pan occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and syrup registers 240°F on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 14 minutes.

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  • Meanwhile, after about 7 minutes of cooking sugar syrup, beat egg whites with a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • With mixer running on medium speed, gradually stream hot sugar syrup into whipped egg white mixture. Continue beating until meringue is glossy and forms stiff peaks and the outside of mixer bowl has cooled slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and beat in vanilla extract. Proceed with desired baked meringue recipe.

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