What Is Meringue?
Basically, good meringues are simply egg whites that have been beaten with sugar until they form peaks. Some people add a little bit of flavoring like vanilla extract to give them some character. Since egg whites are primarily liquid, the beating process whips air into the egg whites to create a mass of bubbles. This will naturally add volume to your meringue and the sugar gives it stability so that after it's prepared, the egg whites don't start to return to their original form. From then on the variations can be as simple as different flavorings and techniques to create the perfect meringue recipe for your creation.
Why do so many people love lemon meringue? It's because of the stiff but fluffy texture of the egg whites whipped to perfection. But learning how to make meringue is not always as easy as you might think. The dish may not be as old as many of the other dishes that have won over our hearts; in fact it has only been around since the 1800's while other dishes may have been gracing tables across the nation for many more years. Still it has become one of America's favorites. So, how do you find an easy no fail meringue recipe? The answer really depends on how you plan to use your meringue.
Easy No-Fail Meringue Recipe
- 3 oz eggs whites (about 3 large eggs)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- Purple food coloring (I used Americolor Electric Purple)
- Gold leaf sheets
- Heat oven to 200 degrees F
- Line bake sheet with parchment
- Place egg whites in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk and whip until stiff peaks hold and meringue does not slide out when bowl is turned upside.. Gradually add in sugar and then vanilla and vinegar. Increase speed and whip until mixture is free of sugar grit when rubbed between two fingers and the meringue holds stiff and glossy peaks.
- Turn pasty bag inside out and paint stripes with food coloring onto bag, then turn pastry bag right side in and fit with a large round tip and fill with meringue. Pipe meringue 1-inch apart. Bake meringue cookies for about 90-120 minutes or until meringue easily peels away from parchment paper. Cool on a wire rack.
- Add gold leaf flakes onto meringue. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
How Many Ways Can You Use Meringue?
If you plan to spend any time at all in the kitchen, then you'll need to learn how to make meringue. You'd be surprised at how many ways you can use an easy meringue recipe from something as delectable as a Strawberry Mousse Cake to it being the principal ingredient in the famous Angel Food Cake. Meringue is also an important ingredient in many of the light fluffy cookies that so many people love. In addition to the different types of foods that meringue is used in, there are different ethnic versions of the recipe as well. You can make French, Italian, or Swiss meringue, each offering a different twist to the old standby.
Everyone loves meringue even if they don't know what it is, but finding an easy meringue recipe can be a challenge. It will depend on knowing what type of dish you plan on creating, the type of tools you have available and your skill in the kitchen. But with so many different recipes for meringue to be found, there's bound to be one that will fit your needs perfectly.