When I started making gelato and ice cream I ended up with a lot of egg whites. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I would save them and eventually throw them out.
One day at work, some meringue nests were made for a dessert special. It was the first time I had eaten meringues, and it was delicious. I finally had a solution to my egg white problems.
I made a similar basic meringue recipe for a while but I didn’t make them often enough because the adding of the sugar step process was just annoying. Beat whites till x, add this much sugar, beat whites more till x add the powered sugar plus a quarter of one eight of a teaspoon of sugar, beat whites till x, now take out half the sugar you put in yesterday and add twice as much as the….. blah, blah, blah.
Thankfully a few months ago I was given a lovely book all about meringues, called (appropriately enough) Meringue by Linda K. Jackson & Jennifer Evans Gardner. It is filled with beautiful photographs, tips & tricks, and all types of meringue recipes.
The meringues don’t take long to prepare, but they do take a while in the oven. So if you’re in a hurry, this is not the recipe you are looking for. They are well worth the wait though, they turn out so crisp and crumbly melt in your mouth good. This is the most basic meringue recipe out there. Not only are they good to munch on their own, they are good crumbled on ice cream, in hot coco, or with macerated berries.
- 4 large egg whites (room temperature)
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter
- 1 cup of superfine sugar
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat whites and cream of tarter, increasing speed to medium-high until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add sugar, about 1 Tablespoon at a time. Continue beating on high until glossy and stiff peaks form.
- Drop well-rounded teaspoons, or use a pastry bag fitted with star or round tip onto baking sheets. The book says use parchment paper, I say use a silicone baking mat or nothing (I use nothing). Don't worry about spacing them super far apart, they don't rise or spread much if at all.
- Bake for 90 minutes. Turn off heat and leave in the oven for at least another hour. I usually leave them in the oven until it cools pretty much all the way. Take them out of the oven and when the meringues are cooled completely they should just pop right off the pan.
She enjoys fresh pasta, creamy cheesy risotto, fresh churned gelato right out of the machine, and peanut butter cups. She absolutely despises cilantro and walnuts. Her favorite kitchen utensils are whisks and offset spatulas.
When she is not in the kitchen you can find her being lazy with her cats and polishing her nails.