‘What about you, Neville?’ said Ron. ‘Well, my gran brought me up and she’s a witch,’ said Neville, ‘but the family thought I was all Muggle for ages. My great-uncle Algie kept trying to catch me off my guard and force some magic out of me – he pushed me off the end of Blackpool pier once, I nearly drowned – but nothing happened until I was eight. Great-uncle Algie came round for tea and he was banging me out of an upstairs window by the ankles when my great-auntie Enid offered him a meringue and he accidentally let go. But I bounced – all the way down the garden and into the road. They were all really pleased. Gran was crying, she was so happy. And you should have seen their faces when I got in here – they thought I might not be magic enough to come, you see. Great-uncle Algie was so pleased he bought me my toad.’ – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, p. 93.
Even though the risk of being accidentally dropped out of the window by your great-uncle due to a meringue seems very limited in our world, many bakers are still afraid of them. Some people chuck their left-over egg-whites away because they think that they couldn’t bake the meringues anyway.
And indeed, they can be tricky if you’re baking them on a very humid day or using a recipe which doesn’t work well. I was always very lucky with my meringues, though. This is, of course, thanks to this recipe I’m sharing with you today. To proove how easy it is, here a picture of my very first meringues (over a year ago):Not bad for a first try, don’t you think? The recipe I’m suggesting uses a bain-marie to heat up the egg-whites-sugar-mixture before baking. I’ve tried another recipe once, but that recipe didn’t work for me at that time.
With this one, however, I didn’t have a single batch of meringues that was damp or lumpy, they were always wonderfully light and crisp, though still nicely soft inside. A last important advice concerns the storing: I suggest an air-tight box, in which you can keep them without problems for a week or more – if they aren’t eaten beforehand… 😉
Preparation time: 20 min
Baking time: 50-60 min
Yield: 30-50 meringues (depending on how big you pipe them)
- 3 egg whites
- 215 g sugar
- ½-1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ TL fresh lemon juice
- if you like: sugar pearls to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 130°C.
- Put egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice into a heat-resistant bowl. Prepare a bain-marie: put the bowl onto the pot with boiling water.
- Whisk with the electric whisk until the mixture has reached a temperature of about 55-60°C (use a candy thermometer).
- Take the bowl out of the bain-marie and continue to whisk until the mixture has cooled down to room temperature again. (It should now be very thick and easy to form.)
- Put the mixture into a piping bag and, using a nozzle of your choice, pit meringues onto a baking sheet (covered with baking parchment). If you like, decorate the meringues with sugar pearls. Bake in the oven at 130°C for 50-60 minutes. (If you wish to pipe very small or big meringues, you’ll have to adapt the baking time accordingly.)
- Take them out of the oven and wait until the meringues have cooled down completely. Then, store them in an airtight container.
To get a printed version: Download the pdf. (Both English and German versions available!)