It took me a long time to fall in love with meringues. And by a long time, I mean 32 years. Until about 2 years ago, I simply did not get what all the fuss was about. The meringues I’d always had were served more soft than hard, and were always really sweet! And by sweet, I mean go to your dentist the next day sweet.
The first time I made meringues from scratch though, all of my previously ill feelings towards them went out the window. You see, I finally figured out what makes meringues so amazing. They look so soft and pillow like, but taking a bite out of one, you soon realize that they are crisp, fragile and a little bit gooey. I love this recipe because it is really simple to make, especially if you have a standing mixer, can be made ahead and is very inexpensive to make for a dinner party crowd. It’s one of those desserts which make you look like a pro to all of your guests, without having to slave in the kitchen. Top yours with vanilla custard, whipped cream, fresh berries, chocolate shavings or even a little jam (or some combination there of).
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 150g (3/4 cup) sugar
- Heat oven to 110C/230F.
- Add the egg whites and lemon juice to the bowl of a standing mixer, or large mixing bowl if you are using a hand mixer. Whisk until the eggwhites double in size and form soft peaks.
- Continue whisking; adding in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, allowing it to incorporate completely before adding more.
- Once you have added in all of the sugar, whisk until the whites are glossy.
- Place a square of baking/parchment paper on a large baking sheet.
- Add the egg whites to a large zip-top plastic bag or plastic piping bag, cut off the tip of one corner and pipe the egg whites on to the baking sheet.
- Bake for 2 hrs. When the meringues are finished, they will have a crisp exterior and lift easily off the paper.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Serve plain or topped with vanilla custard and fruit.