Califonia Bountiful

Meringue magic

Aug. 2012 California Bountiful magazine

Serving fresh berries in individual meringue shells is impressive, but simple. Here are few tips for making great meringue:

  • It is easiest to separate the yolks from the whites if eggs are cold.
  • If you don't have an egg separator, break the whole egg into a small funnel over a narrow bowl. The white will slip through the funnel, leaving the yolk behind. Or break the egg into the palm of your hand and allow the white to slip through your fingers and into the bowl.
  • For best volume, allow the whites to come to room temperature before beating. 
  • The tiniest bit of yolk in the whites or fat on the beaters or bowl will prevent the whites from whipping.
  • Be careful not to overbeat the whites, which will break down the bubbles and cause them to become liquid. 
  • When a recipe says soft peaks, the beaten egg whites will form peaks when the beater is lifted out of the mixture, but the peaks will tip over at the top. Stiff peaks will stand up straight when the beater is removed.
  • For more volume and stability, add a pinch of salt, sugar, cream of tartar, vinegar or lemon juice once the egg whites become foamy while beating.

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