Does Meringue Have To Be Baked?
Meringue does not have to be baked. It can be used as a topping or filling for pies, pavlovas, and other desserts. However, some meringue-topped desserts are typically baked at a low temperature to dry out the meringue and give it a nice brown color.
You have to watch out for meringues with low sugar-to-egg-white ratios, as you can over-mix your meringue, creating grainy liquid mess. Beat the mixture of a thickened cornstarch and water in with the egg whites to incorporate and stabilise the liquid into the meringue (and prevent it from running off).
Whisk, allowing a meringue safe for gentle heating, until the egg whites are at 160F. Remove from a pan with boiling water, and stir in cream of tartar. Once sugar syrup has reached 113 C/235 F, take off low heat immediately–or risk getting sugar up to softball stage–and gently pour over egg whites, stirring constantly. You only need one sugar thermometer, so that you can bake sugar until the sugar has reached 113degC/235degF.
Because hot sugar syrup is cooked and added to egg whites, it is safe to eat without baking, making it ideal for recipes using a non-baked meringue topping, or simply torched. Why It Works Whipping hot sugar syrup into the frothy egg whites does not only make it the most stable meringue–it is also safe to eat without any extra baking. Once you add the sugar syrup to the Italian merinue, it becomes a lot more stable, and over-heating becomes a much smaller problem.
|Eggs||4 large eggs|
Italian meringue is also the trickiest of meringues, as it requires some sugar cooking, but once you have learned a few basics about meringue, and a good thermometer, it is just as simple as making a meringue cake. Plump piping meringue is great to use to top your pie, but it is just as amazing alone, piping into cookies, kisses, cakes, and nests to hold fresh fruit. Known as uncooked meringue, it is just whipped together eggs whites and sugar to a peak; it is commonly used to top pies, make meringue cookies, and make pavlovas, and is always baked somehow once prepared. French meringue–which is the meringue that most home bakers are familiar with, and that is made by beating sugar into the egg whites–is uncooked meringue, as no baking is involved with making French meringue.
Italian meringue is made by slowly adding warm, melted sugar while beating egg whites, and Swiss meringue is made by combining sugar and egg whites together over a flame. Some people then prefer to make Italian meringue by cooking sugar until it is solid at a temperature of 121degC/250degF) instead, as the higher heat is said to pasteurize the egg whites, but I have not tried it myself.
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As I explained in my Italian buttercream post, the amount of sugar used for making Italian meringue ranges between 50g and 82g (or 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 tbsp) per egg white. If you choose to bake your meringue, a higher sugar content results in more crispy meringue kisses or cookies. A lower sugar content, by contrast, makes meringue lighter, fluffier, juicier, and easier to fold into the pastry cream and fruit puree.
A thicker sugar syrup forms stronger, pliable bubble walls, making meringues more consistent. To get scientific with you, this tiny ingredient keeps protein in egg whites from sticking to each other, which makes for super-smooth meringue that does not wrinkle or deflate. Meringue is made by beating together separated egg whites to form a foam, then adding sugar, in crystalline form (preferably ultrafine) or syrup, whose quantity dictates if it is soft or firm. Even a tiny amount of yolk will spoil your meringue, so crack each egg in a small bowl before adding to the bowl in which you are going to be mixing your meringue mixture.
Separate the eggs when they are cool, placing the whites into a small container before adding to the mixing bowl so that they are at room temperature. Use Room Temperature Eggs: Separating eggs is easiest when they are cold, but then allow your egg whites to reach room temperature (about 30 minutes) before making meringue; this will guarantee that your egg whites will be at their maximum volume. If you only get refrigerator-cold eggs, start churning at low speed for a minute or two to help break down and heat the whites, then move up to higher speeds to achieve volume.
Use stainless steel or glass bowls to whip the meringue, and make sure you do not incorporate even tiny drops of the yolks into the whites. Swiss meringue – To make Swiss meringue, you heat egg whites and sugar together to a certain temperature (I always heat it up to 160degF to make sure it is safe for eating), ensure that sugar has dissolved, and then stir to room temperature, then churn to create firm peaks.
Slowly Add Sugar – It is important to only add the sugar in small amounts (a couple tablespoons) at a time; adding slowly will ensure that the sugar is absorbed into the egg whites and will remove any grainy texture, as well as reduces the chances that the meringue will crumble and not achieve a firm peak (this could happen if you add it all at once). A couple teaspoons of cornstarch mixed in with the sugar helps absorb any remaining liquid in the meringue, leaving it glossy, pretty, and free from any puddles. If you are making soft meringue for pie filling, like our classic lemon Meringue Tart, stir one teaspoon of cornstarch into your sugar.
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Light and heaven-like, meringue is nothing but egg whites and sugar, spun into clouds of pure joy, then baked lightly. This kind of meringue is folded into pie crusts and souffle mixes to soften and give a puffy texture, or baked into lighter-than-air macaron cookies.
Does egg white meringue need to be cooked?
To make French meringue, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. After beating egg whites, add sugar and whip until glossy until stiff peaks form. French meringue is an uncooked meringue because it is made without cooking. Swiss meringue, on the other hand, is a cooked meringue.
How long to bake meringue?
The answer depends on what you’re using it for. If you’re making a meringue pie topping, you’ll want to bake it until it’s golden brown and has a crispy texture. For a pavlova, you’ll want to bake the meringue until it’s firm to the touch but still has a bit of give.
Can you bake italian meringue?
Yes, you can bale Italian Meringue! Just be sure to use a recipe that is specifically designed for baking. These recipes will usually include a stabilizer such as cream of tartar or cornstarch, which will help the meringue hold its shape in the oven.