Kitchen 101: Basic Meringue

Craft & Design Food & Beverage
Kitchen 101: Basic Meringue

In the Kitchen

By Katie Goodman
Meringue is a light, sweet dessert made mostly from egg whites and sugar and can be used for various purposes, depending on how it is cooked.
Cooking meringue low and slow, as you would for a pavlova, will produce a crisp, dry product. Meringue may also be cooked for shorter periods at a higher temperature with the end result being a soft meringue with browned peaks on top (as you would in a lemon meringue pie).
Various desserts using meringue as a base include: angel food cake, pavlova, Baked Alaska, key lime pie, lemon meringue pie and Eton mess.


1 tsp vanilla extract OR 1 vanilla bean (seeds only)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 oz egg white,
about 5-6 large eggs or 3/4 cup


Step 1: Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Reserve the yolks for another use, such as citrus curd (related: Citrus Curd 3 Ways).
Step 2: Allow the whites to sit at room temperature in a bowl for 30 minutes before beginning the recipe.
Step 3: Preheat oven to 250˚ F. Prepare a large baking sheet (or 2 medium) by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside. Set the oven rack in the middle position.
Step 4: Add the cornstarch and sugar to a small bowl; whisk to combine.
Step 5: Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat for 1 minute, then increase speed to medium-low.
Step 6: Beat for another minute, then increase speed to medium. Beat for 2 minutes, or until the mixture has small bubbles and soft peaks start to develop.
Step 7: Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the bowl as the whisk continues to beat. Increase the speed to medium-high. Beat for 2 minutes.
Step 8: Add the vanilla. Increase the speed to high and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes.
You’ll know when it’s ready when the meringue is shiny and has developed stiff peaks.
Step 9: Use the meringue for whatever you’d like, such as topped on a pie or in a pavlova recipe. For individual pavlovas, you can spoon little nests (6-8 total) of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet. Then, bake at 250˚ F for 50 – 65 minutes. Rotate the pan(s) halfway through baking.
Step 10: Finished meringue should be crisp, but not cracked. The insides will have a marshmallow-like consistency. Cool baked meringue on a wire rack.

About the Author:
Katie Goodman blogs at goodLife {eats} where she shares what she finds good in the kitchen and in life through recipes, family memories, and yummy photography. She also works as a freelance food writer and photographer for various sites. Outside of cooking, Katie loves reading, gardening, visiting family, and attending the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she resides with her husband and two children.

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