Recipe adapted from Delia’s Complete How to Cook
See Perfect Egg Whites
This must be the most popular egg-white recipe of all, whipped with fine sugar into tall, stiff, shining peaks, then very lightly baked so that the surface is crisp and the centre is soft and chewy.
The tricky bit is whisking the egg whites, but the way the meringues are cooked is important, too. The oven should be pre-heated to 150°C, gas mark 2 but do make sure you are not going to be using it for anything else, since the meringues stay in the oven until it is completely cold, so that they partly baked and then slowly dry out.
The eggs must be spanking fresh as this makes them easier to separate. Separate 3 large eggs, one at a time, placing each white in a cup or small bowl before adding it to the whisking bowl.
This means that if an accident occurs with, say, the third egg and you break the yolk, the other two are safe.
The proportion of sugar is always 50 g for each egg white. So, for 3 whites weigh out 175 g caster sugar onto a plate and have ready a clean, grease-free tablespoon
Switch the whisk on to a slow speed and begin whisking for about two minutes, or until everything has become bubbly (this timing will be right for 2 to 3 egg whites; you'll need slightly more time for 4, 5 or 6).
After that, switch to a medium speed for a further minute, then whisk at the highest speed and continue whisking through the soft peak stage until stiff peaks are formed. The whites should be all cloudy and foamy at this stage.
Another test is to look at the whites on the end of the whisk – they should form a stiff peak without falling off the whisk. It's very important not to over-whisk the whites – this will stretch the surface of the bubbles that have formed and they will burst and collapse into liquid.
Next, whisk the sugar in on fast speed, about a tablespoon at a time, until you have a stiff and glossy mixture with a satin sheen. Spoon onto baking sheets lined with baking parchment (or a liner) ready for baking.
My own method of baking has stood the test of time and, provided your oven temperature is correct, it will never let you down. You will find the exact temperatures and timings in each individual recipe.
These differ according to the size of the meringues and the degree of colour called for, but the general principle is – they go into the oven at 150°C, gas mark 2, the temperature is then immediately reduced to gas 140°C, gas mark 1 for the actual baking and, once baked, the oven is turned off and the meringues are left in there, undisturbed, until the oven is completely cold.
Return to Homepage
Visit the Delia Online Cookery School
Copyright © 2009 Delia Smith/New Crane Internet Limited, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Meringue nests filled with vanilla mascarpone cream and lemon curd
In the winter it works really well with passion fruit
Once you know how, meringues are the easiest thing to make and can be used in recipes from Eton mess to petits monts blancs and pavlova. They're also a great way to use up leftover egg whites from other recipes...
The flavour of orange zest does something quite magical to the flavour of rhubarb, and this light, fluffy meringue pie is a perfect dessert for late spring. ‘Pile-it-high meringue', incidentally, applies only if you have extra egg whites to use up..
Who says dieters have to miss out? This wonderful low-fat dessert will please dieters and non-dieters alike and is a good way to achieve one of your five-a-day in the process!
When Delia's first Christmas book was published, the shops sold out of cranberries, and she was given the title Cranberry Queen by the press!
Most Popular recipes
05 Feb 2016 22:58
03 Feb 2016 17:37
|Food and travel||
Sponge receipe needed
14 Nov 2015 22:15
|Can Anyone Help?||
stop cake crusting.
07 Feb 2016 09:04
20 Dec 2015 23:44
03 Feb 2016 07:56
Weekend Bird Watch
06 Feb 2016 14:08