Summer is still here (despite the torrential rain sweeping Ireland for the last couple of weeks) and nothing is more summery than a lovely light meringue. Plus they’re gluten free!
175g Caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 200C (for fan ovens).
- Separate the eggs and put the yolks aside. You can use leftover egg yolks to make pastry if you’re in the mood for more baking.
- Be very careful not to get any yolk into the egg white mix as this will prevent them from stiffening.
- Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until they being to form soft peaks.
- Whisk in the sugar, little by little, allowing each batch to dissolve before adding more.
- Once all the sugar has been added, the mixture should form stiff peaks.
- Drop about 6 dollops of meringue mixture onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
- Put them into the oven at 200C and then immediately reduce the temperature to about 140C. This technique keeps the outside of the meringue crunchy, with a soft gooey inside.
- Bake for 1.5 hours or until the meringues have begun to turn golden in colour.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tray until you can prise the meringues from the paper. Then leave them to cool fully on a wire rack.
It might be an old wives’ tale but I’ve always been told that you can’t whisk egg whites in a plastic bowl. Allegedly, the oil in the plastic prevents the egg whites from stiffening. I don’t know if it’s true but I go with glass or ceramic bowls just to avoid the hassle 🙂
Having butter or oil on your whisk or bowl will also prevent egg whites from stiffening so make sure everything is clean and dry!
Meringues call for caster sugar as it is easier to dissolve than granulated sugar, but I have used both successfully. If you’re using granulated sugar for your meringues, just add it a little more slowly to give it a chance to dissolve.
If the mixture is starting to get soft again after you’ve added all the sugar then stop whisking immediately! You’ve gone too far and your meringues will be a bit floppy…but you can still cook them and crumble them up for Eton Mess – yum!