The first thing you need to know about making a great meringue? Is to know a great meringuist whats that you ask? Well besides being a made up name its someone who consistently makes a great meringue, however you may like them. They never burn them and they always taste the same in their incredibleness. For you though they are great to watch because they know instinctively when the eggs have been whisked enough or when they have achieved stiff peaks and that my friends is how a great meringue is made –
I used this+ recipe from Delia Smith for the ingredient weights. Although you’ll need the technique the first go its so simple you’ll probably find you just need the weights in future.
Two Large egg whites (to separate an egg check out the method here+)
110g (4oz) of White caster Sugar
For those lovely americans check out this link+ to Martha Stewart for measurements in Cups.
The first thing you have to do is separate those eggs! As the risky devil (that I am) I crack directly into the bowl because I love to live on the edge but you can of course do this in another bowl first if easier. Shell happens thats all I’m saying . . .
You need to whisk these eggs until you get stiff peaks. The key to recognising this is when pulling (I use an electric whisk – If it doesn’t have to be hard then why chose to manually do it? thats my motto) the whisked whites should stand on end and not fall over.
From here we add the sugar! The end result should be stiff peaks with a nice shine to them. Now another trick to know they are ready is one that I got from my very own meringuists (my grandparents Low) is if you can hold your bowl upside down and the contents don’t fall out, than your ready. Of course if it does then thats a whole lot of sugar and egg to clean up and for that you have my apologies.
In my family there are only two people who make meringues, my grandparents. They perfected the art of the perfect meringue, they are always perfectly piped, glistening white with a lovely chewy inside. They are the dessert constantly fought over and although mine are never close to the perfection that my grandparents could achieve they are always great to have with fruit and yogurt on a Sunday just like we used to when I was a kid . . .
I don’t pipe mine either, the above are done simply with a big spoon and a spatular. In a pre heated oven bake the meringues for 30 minutes on gas mark 1, 275 Fº (140ºC) until cooked on the inside.