Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hard Meringues

I don’t know about you but after a weekend of baking I always end up with a bowl of egg whites laying around.  I try to find recipes that use egg whites but at the end I make my childhood favorite – Hard Meringues!

Did you know the name meringue came from a pastry chef named Gasparini in the Swiss town of Merhrinyghen. In 1720, he created a small pastry of dried egg foam and sugar from which the simplified meringue evolved.

I don’t know why but it seems really hard to find hard meringues in the stores here, only certain stores carry it and I don’t understand why.  When I was a kid in Sweden hard meringues were huge. Some of my favorite desserts have hard meringue in them.  When I moved to the US I was introduced to soft meringues and I don’t like it at all, and never have a baked Alaskan due to this.

The most critical factor in making meringue is humidity. Because of its high sugar content, meringue can absorb moisture from the air and become limp and sticky.

Be sure that beaters and bowls are clean and completely free of fat or oil because the least bit of fat will prevent beaten egg whites from reaching their full volume. Use only metal or glass bowls. Plastic bowls tend to absorb fat.

Meringues only take about 5 minutes to make but it has to stay in the oven at least for 2 hours to get dry and hard.  Sometimes even longer, again depends on the oven and the humidity.

Some folks add cream of tartar on vinegar to get them stiffer but I usually leave that out and get the perfect consistency anyways.

What about you, are you a hard or soft meringue person, and what do you usually do with left over egg whites? Give me some ideas.  And please don’t say egg white omelet.

Hard Meringues

Yields: 12 meringue | Prep: 5 minutes | Bake: About 2 hours

3 egg whites
¾ cups sugar

Set oven to 225F.  In a mixer add your egg whites and the sugar.  And mix about 2-3 minutes until the eggs show high peaks.  Place the eggs to your desired shape onto a cookie sheet and into the middle of the oven.

It will take about 2 hours for your meringues to harden.  If they are not hard keep them in the oven until they are.   The longer they are in the oven the harder and dryer they get.  After about two hours they should be hard on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Meringues may be stored for several months in a tightly sealed container with waxed paper between the layers.

Recipes that will leave you with leftover egg whites:

Brioche Cinnabun
Cranberry and White Chocolate Streusel Bars
Ice Cream Petit Fours
Cream Puffs

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17 Responses to “Hard Meringues”

  1. 1

    Tweets that mention Hard Meringues — Delishhh -- Topsy.com — February 3, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

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  2. 2

    E — February 3, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

    I love hard meringues and definitely need to make them again in the near future. The last batch was a little on the sticky side, so I ended up getting meringues from Trader Joe’s to satisfy my craving.

  3. 3

    Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday — February 4, 2011 @ 5:45 am

    I love how simple meringues are, yet they still seem so decadent to eat.

  4. 4

    My Kitchen in the Rockies — February 4, 2011 @ 7:28 am

    Simple, elegant and delicious. We love the, too! My kids prefer the chocolate ones.

  5. 5

    Tia — February 4, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    I like both hard and soft meringues. My mom makes the one desert where you pour the meringue out as a big circle and bake it. And then put berries and cream on it. It’s very good; I forgot the name. She does a great job. She isn’t a baker like me, so that is the one baking dish she is really proud of!

    Thanks for this recipe.

    • Brittany replied: — February 19th, 2011 @ 12:20 am

      you mean a Pavlova?

      • Tia replied: — February 19th, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

        Yes! A pavlova. Amazing stuff. I love it.

  6. 6

    Privet and Holly — February 4, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    My kids adore these,
    but I’ve gotten lazy
    since Trader Joe’s came
    to town, as they sell
    them! But, my 12 year old
    has a renewed interest
    in cooking, so I think that
    he and I shall whip up a
    batch, soon. Thank you!
    xx Suzanne

  7. 7

    Statii Radio — February 4, 2011 @ 10:11 am

    I don’t know any person who doesn’t like meringues. Especially hard meringues. These were my absolute favorite dessert growing up. And they still are.

  8. 8

    Gloria — February 5, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! I have always wanted to try making these. They look delicious. Thanks again for sharing!
    Best,
    Gloria

  9. 9

    The Redhead Riter — February 5, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

    I love your blog because I can eat everything I’m not supposed to without ever taking a bite. LOL

  10. 10

    Megan — February 6, 2011 @ 7:44 am

    I LOVE meringue cookies and always add chocolate chips. Leftover egg whites, ‘llI substitute 3 egg whites for 2 eggs in other recipes. Or make macarons!!!

  11. 11

    Reeni — February 6, 2011 @ 8:33 am

    Your meringues look like puffy little clouds! I bet they just melt in your mouth. Such scrumptious little treats!

  12. 12

    Miel Abeille — February 10, 2011 @ 11:43 am

    This look great!

    I’m looking for a cinnamon meringue recipe to spice up Valentine’s day. I saw one for Christmas that added about a tsp of mint extract, but I don’t if cinnamon extract exists. Would ground cinnamon work?

    Any ideas?

    Cheers!

  13. 13

    Blue Cheese and Bacon Dip — Delishhh — February 4, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

    [...] Year Ago:  Hard Meringues /* Pin ItIf you enjoyed this post, I’d truly appreciate a Comment, Tweet, Stumble, [...]

  14. 14

    Alicia — January 8, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

    can these be made by hand mixing?

    • Delishhh replied: — January 17th, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

      Alicia – yes they can but it will take awhile and your arm might hurt :)

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