Meringue is a favorite in our kitchen, whether piled high on pies, piped into dainty melt in your mouth cookies or grandstanding as a Pavlova with fresh fruit. Here are our family secrets to creating a perfect meringue from scratch.
Preheat oven to 200°F/90°C baking time will vary depending on the size and weight of your meringue. Also, if you are using the meringue to top a pie, follow the baking directions for that specific recipe.
Be sure that your mixer bowl is clean and has no traces of grease, any residue can result in the whites not coming together. So, make sure your whisk and bowl are spotlessly clean! In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on low-medium speed until foamy and soft peaks start to form, approximately 40-50 seconds.
Do not add the sugar prior to whipping the egg whites. Adding the sugar at the beginning can double the time you have to whip the whites.
Then, while mixer is running, add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and continue whisking on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, meringue is glossy and smooth but not dry, making sure that the sugar is fully dissolved (this process of adding the sugar and beating may take 5-10 minutes). Stop the mixer and remove the bowl.
For the Meringue Kisses pictured here. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 2-3 hours, or until the meringues are dry, they are lifted easily from the parchment paper and their centers aren't gummy. Turn off the oven and, without removing, let meringues cool completely for at least one hour or overnight.
Meringue will become more done when baked at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. We typically cook ours at a temp of 200°F/90°C, time will vary depending on the size and weight of your meringue. Also, if you are using your meringue to top a pie, follow the baking directions for that specific recipe.