A good meringue recipe is a very useful thing to have in your repertoire. I was about 22 when I first made a meringue. They seemed somewhat tricky to perfect, and I had steered a wide birth until one evening, when my flatmate at the time made some for a joint dinner party we were hosting, and I soon realised that I had nothing to worry about.
Recipes for meringue vary enormously; some add vinegar, some add cream of tartar, and I’ve never followed any of them, choosing to make meringues using just egg white and sugar. This gives a lovely crisp outer shell, and a soft, fluffy interior which quickly becomes chewy after a day or two.
I use fresh, large egg whites and raw sugar to make my meringues. Good quality raw unrefined cane sugar is something I insist on. Raw, unrefined sugar has a more complex flavour profile than your typical white Caster sugar, and so it imparts a deeper, richer flavour to the meringue, with nut and caramel undertones. The difference in flavour is subtle, but noticeable.
In terms of appearance, raw, unrefined sugar gives the most elegant colour. I like to pipe my meringue (as photographed), as I love the effect. A box of small meringues is a very useful thing to have in the kitchen. From a quick weeknight pudding paired with fruit and cream, to a an easy dinner party pudding, such as Mont Blanc, they are so useful to have, a fun thing to make, and an important recipe to know.
I’m trying out some recipe cards on the blog, which I hope will allow you to print my recipes and use in the kitchen, which some of you have written to me to tell me you’d like to see. Please let me know what you think!
- 4 egg whites (from large, free range, preferably Organic eggs)
- 225g raw Caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 150C/130C Fan/Gas Mark 2. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper and set aside.
- Place the egg whites into a spotlessly clean bowl. Whisk until fluffy using an electric whisk or stand mixer. Add the sugar, a couple of tablespoons at a time and whisk vigorously until stiff. This will take around 10 minutes. The meringue will need to be very thick and stiff.
- Spoon or pipe onto the baking sheets. You can make the meringues as large or small as you like, or even one large one to make a pavlova. Cook in the oven for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and leave for a minimum of 6 hours in the oven, with the door closed. I like to make these last thing at night and then leave them overnight.
- Once fully cooled and dried out, they are ready to eat. They keep well, but must be stored in an airtight container, and are best eaten within a week.