A meringue is an essential ingredient required for a wide variety of desserts like pies, puddings, cakes and brownies. A meringue is prepared by beating egg whites to a fluffy mix and adding sugar to it. It can be further baked and stored for future use.
Making a meringue is a bit tricky but comes easily with a little practice and patience. Ideally meringue is a foam which needs to be treated carefully for further use in the dessert recipes. Here are a few simple steps to make meringue in an easy and convenient way.
- Choosing Eggs for Meringue: Eggs being the most important ingredient for a good meringue, you have to be really careful while choosing them before you start the whole process. Since meringue uses egg whites it is better to choose eggs that are at least 3 to 4 days old. Little older egg whites have a thinner texture and give good results in the form of foam when they are beaten up.
- Separating Eggs: Since meringue is made of egg whites, it is necessary to learn the process of separating egg yolk and whites from the eggs. One method of separation is to poke a finger size whole at one end of the egg. Now keep the egg upside down and pour the egg white in the bowl. Invert the egg, once the entire white portion comes out and the yolk is almost ready to drip. Be careful not to drip even a drop of yolk as it would hamper your meringue formation.
- Beating Egg whites: Once you have your egg whites ready be prepared with the utensils and the beaters. Make sure you take a stainless steel pot or a glass bowl for beating purpose. Avoid plastic or aluminum utensils. Bring the egg whites to a room temperature before beating. Cold egg whites do not create a fluff easily. Now use an electric beater to beat the whites first at medium speed then slowly increasing the speed.
- Adding Sugar: Do not add the sugar in the beginning. When you notice foam and soft peaks forming with your egg whites, add sugar slowly and in small quantity. Keep beating the eggs after adding the sugar. For every single egg you need to add minimum one fourth cup of fine sugar. After beating for a few minutes, you now need to check the peaks of your meringue. The moment you lift the beater, if the peak is curved it’s a soft peak and if it stands straight, it surely is a stiff peak.
- Baking a Meringue: The meringue formed as above might be soft and runny. If you wish to use it later, it is advisable to bake and store your meringue blobs. They are baked at a very low temperature, around 200 degrees for a couple of hours. Line a baking tray with a butter paper and drop a few blobs of your fresh meringue with the help of a spoon. Let them bake for a few hours or till they turn brown from outside and should sound hollow when tapped. After cooling store them in an airtight container.
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