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How To Make Basic Meringue – Mary Berry’s Recipe

Are you ready to get creative in the kitchen and learn how to make a classic French meringue? Whether you’re looking for something extra sweet for dessert or an easy addition to your next gathering, this is just the recipe you need.

Meringue is a wonderful treat that combines lightness and sweetness all into one bite. It can be used on pies, tarts, and cakes – even as standalone treats! Here I’ll show you how to make it with basic ingredients and obtain delicious results every time. Get ready to impress everyone at your next event!

mini meringue shells

Naturally Gluten-Free Meringues

Meringues are a delightful and versatile dessert option that can be enjoyed in various forms, from classic cookies to elegant pavlovas.

With just two simple ingredients of egg whites and sugar, these airy confections are a true testament to the magic of baking.

When made correctly, basic meringues have a crisp exterior and a melt-in-your-mouth interior, making them an irresistible treat for people of all ages.

Why You Will Love This Easy Meringue Recipe

  • Easy to make: This recipe requires minimal ingredients and straightforward steps, making it perfect for beginners and experienced bakers alike.
  • Adaptable: They can be customized with different flavours, colours, and shapes to suit your preferences or special occasions.
  • Gluten-free: They are naturally gluten-free, making them an excellent dessert choice for those with dietary restrictions.
  • Low-fat: Since meringues are primarily made of egg whites, they are low in fat and calories, allowing you to indulge guilt-free.
  • Impressive presentation: Despite their simplicity, they always make a stunning and eye-catching addition to any dessert table or platter.

Ingredients

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 250 g Caster Sugar
whisking egg whites and sugar together

How To Make Easy French Meringues

  • Preheat the oven to 120℃/100℃fan, Gas ½.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a large clean bowl at maximum speed until the whites are stiff and look like clouds.
  • Keep the mixer on maximum speed, add the caster sugar a teaspoon at a time and continue whisking until the mixture is stiff and shiny.
  • Pipe, spoon, or spread the meringue on baking paper as preferred. Use a cookie cutter to draw circles on baking paper to use as a guide. Start in the middle and work your way out. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes until firm. Leave to cool.
piped meringue on baking paper

How Do You Know When The Meringues Are Done?

Knowing when your meringues are done baking is crucial to achieving that perfect balance of a crisp exterior and a soft, marshmallow-like interior. To determine if your meringues are fully baked, follow these simple tips:

  1. Timing: Generally, meringues bake at a low temperature (around 200°F or 120°C/100°Cfan) for an extended period, typically between 1 to 2 hours. The exact time will depend on the size and thickness of your meringues, so it’s essential to keep an eye on them as they bake.
  2. Colour: A well-baked meringue should have a pale, ivory hue. If the meringue starts to develop a golden or brown colour, it may be overcooked, which can result in a hard, brittle texture.
  3. Texture: Gently touch the surface of the meringue with your fingertip. The exterior should feel dry and firm but still give slightly when pressed. If the meringue feels wet or sticky, it needs more time to bake.
  4. Detachability: Try lifting the meringue off the baking sheet using a spatula. If it releases easily without sticking, it’s a good indication that it’s ready. However, if it sticks or the bottom appears undercooked, allow it to bake for a little longer.
  5. Cooling test: Remove one meringue from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, break it open to check the interior. The inside should be soft and marshmallow-like, while the outside remains crisp.

Meringue Fillings

Meringues are incredibly versatile and can be paired with a variety of fillings to create delightful treats. Here are some delicious filling suggestions:

  1. Whipped cream: A classic choice, whipped cream adds a light, creamy texture that complements the crispness of the meringue. You can also flavour the whipped cream with vanilla extract, almond extract, or citrus zest for added depth.
  2. Lemon curd: The tangy, sweet flavours of lemon curd contrast beautifully with the sweetness of the meringue, creating a perfectly balanced dessert.
  3. Berries and fruit compote: Fresh berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, or a homemade fruit compote add a burst of flavour and colour to your meringue. You can also combine them with whipped cream for an even more indulgent treat.
  4. Chocolate ganache: For chocolate lovers, a rich chocolate ganache filling adds a touch of decadence to your meringue. You can also use white or dark chocolate, depending on your preference.
  5. Pastry cream: A smooth, velvety pastry cream (also known as crème pâtissière) pairs well. For a unique twist, you can flavour the pastry cream with vanilla, coffee, or chocolate.
  6. Nutella or peanut butter: A dollop of Nutella or peanut butter adds a rich, nutty flavour to your meringue, perfect for those who love the combination of sweet and savoury.
  7. Mascarpone cheese: Mascarpone cheese has a smooth, creamy texture that works well. You can sweeten it with powdered sugar or honey and add a dash of vanilla extract for extra flavour.
  8. Coconut cream: For a tropical twist, try filling your meringues with coconut cream or whipped coconut milk. You can also add some toasted coconut flakes for added texture and flavour.

Feel free to mix and match these fillings or get creative with your own unique combinations to create a meringue dessert that’s truly your own! Use these meringues in Eton Mess and Scotch Mist recipes, they’re so good!

baked meringues cooling on wire rack UK recipe

Storage

Proper storage is essential to maintain the crisp texture and freshness of your meringues. Follow these steps to store your meringues effectively:

  1. Cool completely: Allow the meringues to cool fully on a wire rack before attempting to store them. Storing warm meringues can create condensation, making them soggy.
  2. Choose an airtight container: Place the meringues in an airtight container, preferably with a tight-fitting lid. This will help prevent moisture from entering and keep them crisp.
  3. Separate layers: If you need to stack the meringues, use parchment paper or wax paper between the layers to prevent them from sticking together or breaking.
  4. Store in a cool, dry place: Keep the container in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Avoid storing them in humid areas, such as near a dishwasher or oven, as humidity can cause them to become soft.
  5. Avoid refrigeration: Meringues are best stored at room temperature, as the humidity in a refrigerator can make them lose their crispness.

When properly stored, meringues can last for up to 2 weeks. However, it’s important to note that their quality may deteriorate over time, so it’s best to enjoy them as soon as possible for optimal taste and texture.

mini meringue shells uk recipe

Basic Meringue Recipe

Rachel
Straightforward meringue recipe with only two ingredients needed.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 24
Calories 43 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 250 g Caster Sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 120℃/100℃fan, Gas ½.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a large clean bowl at maximum speed, until the whites are stiff and look like clouds.
  • Keep the mixer on maximum speed, add the caster sugar a teaspoon at a time and continue whisking until the mixture is stiff and shiny.
  • Pipe, spoon, or spread the meringue on baking paper as preferred. Use a cookie cutter to draw circles on baking paper to use as a guide. Start in the middle and work your way out. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes until firm. Leave to cool.
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Nutrition

Calories: 43kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 0.04gSodium: 8mgPotassium: 8mgSugar: 10gCalcium: 0.5mgIron: 0.01mg
Keyword Free range egg whites
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was! or tag @rachelsrecipepantry on Instagram and hashtag #rachelsrecipepantry Thank you!!

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