Welcome to the enchanting realm of meringues, where the alchemy of whipped egg whites and sugar creates ethereal cookies that dissolve on your palate. Vanilla Meringues, classic among meringue cookies, have an irresistible charm. These delicate treats are not your everyday cookie; they demand precision and patience but offer an exquisite reward.
The Versatility of Meringue
Meringue is a versatile ingredient that finds its way into numerous culinary creations. It can be swirled and torched on a lemon meringue pie, folded into cake batter for an airy lift, or serve as a stable base for buttercream or marshmallows. However, today, our spotlight is on classic Vanilla Meringues. These delicate delights not only boast an appealing visual charm but also an extended shelf life, lasting up to 10 days. This makes them an excellent choice for gifting during holidays or shipping to friends and family.
Baking the Perfect Meringues
Creating the perfect Vanilla Meringues is an art. As they bake, the meringue shells evolve from sticky to tacky and finally to crisp. How do you know when they are done? Lift one off the baking sheet; it should feel light, and tapping the underside should produce a hollow sound. To avoid any risk of cracking, it’s essential to leave them in the turned-off oven, allowing them to cool slowly.
Dealing with Humidity
On rainy or humid days, the meringues may turn sticky. But there’s no need to worry. Simply pop them back into the oven at low heat for 10-15 minutes to restore their crispness. This trick works just as well to revive meringues that have lost their snap after a few days.
Creative Uses for Vanilla Meringues
Vanilla Meringues are not only a treat on their own but also serve as a fantastic garnish for a variety of holiday desserts. Crumble them over scoops of ice cream for a homemade Eton mess, or present them elegantly on a teatime platter.
Tools for Meringue Perfection
A pastry bag is a valuable tool in creating tall and beautifully swirled meringues. It can make all the difference in presentation. If you prefer a more rustic appearance, use a cookie scoop or two spoons to dollop the meringue onto the baking sheet. In a pinch, you can even fashion a makeshift pastry bag by filling a gallon-size resealable plastic bag with meringue and snipping off a corner.
Ingredients You’ll Need
To make these delightful Vanilla Meringues, you’ll require the following ingredients:
- 5 large egg whites (at room temperature)
- 1/4 tsp. Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 225°F and place racks in the upper and lower thirds.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the 5 large egg whites at room temperature.
- Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. of cream of tartar and 1/4 tsp. Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt over the egg whites and let them sit for 5 minutes.
- While waiting, sift 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar and 3/4 cup (83 g) powdered sugar into a medium bowl and whisk them together.
If you are looking to buy the ingredients or tools you need, please consider that products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by their editors, and when you make a purchase through their retail links, they may earn an affiliate commission.
In conclusion, Vanilla Meringues are a delicate delight that adds an air of sophistication to your culinary repertoire. Whether you choose to enjoy them on their own, crumbled over a dessert, or as a thoughtful gift, their timeless charm and extended shelf life make them a culinary gem that’s worth mastering.
So, why not embark on your own Vanilla Meringue-making adventure and savor the art of creating these exquisite treats?
Meringue’s Intriguing Culinary History
How to make Vanilla Meringues?
Begin by placing the egg whites in a small bowl and allow them to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
While the egg whites reach room temperature, preheat your oven to 250°F.
Add vanilla, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt to the egg whites. Then, beat the mixture on medium speed until it becomes foamy.
Attach a #32 star tip to a pastry bag and transfer the foamy meringue mixture into the bag.
Bake the meringues in the preheated oven until they become firm to the touch, which typically takes around 40-45 minutes.
What are the ingredients for Vanilla Meringues?
Perfect Vanilla Meringues Ingredients
- 5 egg whites
- 1 & 1/4 cups caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon of cornflour
- 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Fresh berries of your choice for serving
- Whipped cream for serving
Are there any tips for baking perfect Vanilla Meringues?
Tips for Baking Perfect Vanilla Meringues
Avoid making meringues on particularly steamy or humid days, as moisture can affect the outcome.
Ensure that the egg whites are entirely clean, free from any traces of yolk, which can hinder proper meringue formation.
For optimal results, beat the egg whites to a generous volume at room temperature or slightly warmed.
What is the trick to making meringue?
Secrets to Successful Meringue Making
When crafting meringues, ensure that egg whites are thoroughly cooked to eliminate the risk of salmonella poisoning.
Avoid using packaged egg whites for meringue; opt for fresh egg whites for the best results.
Work with eggs at room temperature to achieve a stable meringue.
Exercise extreme caution to prevent any traces of yolk from contaminating the whites.
Do not overbeat the egg whites, as this can affect the meringue’s texture and stability.
What 2 ingredients are meringues made from?
Ingredients in Meringues
Meringues are primarily made from two key ingredients:
French Meringue: This version is crafted from raw egg whites and sugar, offering a delicate texture.
Swiss and Italian Meringue: Both of these meringues involve cooking a mixture of eggs and sugar, with Swiss meringue being denser and more stable, and Italian meringue utilizing hot sugar syrup added to whipped egg whites for a unique texture.
What are the 3 types of meringue?
The Three Types of Meringue
Meringue, a delightful sweet dessert topping, is not a one-size-fits-all treat. There are three primary types of meringue, each with its unique characteristics:
Italian Meringue: Crafted by adding hot sugar syrup to whipped egg whites, resulting in a smooth and stable meringue.
French Meringue: Made from raw egg whites and sugar, yielding a delicate and airy meringue.
Swiss Meringue: Created by cooking a mixture of eggs and sugar before whipping, producing a dense and stable meringue.