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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Vanilla Meringues

I am a little bit of a sugar addict, and not surprisingly, these are one of my favorite desserts. And since I moved to New York, I've been on a quest to find good meringues. I've had an occasional almost-success (the pavlova at Balthazaar is delicious, although not quite what I was looking for), but it's largely been a devastating failure. Too often they're made with some strange flavoring, coloring, or (worst of all) nuts, which is most certainly not what I'm looking for. So I knew I had to learn to make my own.

Unfortunately, I attempted this recipe twice and completely failed. I was attempting to beat the eggs and sugar myself with a whisk, and I think I just don't have the arm power. Rather than being light and fluffy, they were soup-like in the bowl and completely flat on the baking sheet. So, I caved and bought a hand mixer, which I can already tell is going to be a wonderful addition to my little kitchen. If only because now I can make these every single night...

Vanilla Meringues

2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2. In a glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites and vanilla until foamy.
3. Pour in sugar slowly, while continuing to whip the egg whites.
4. When the mixture becomes stiff, stop mixing (if you can turn the bowl upside down without the meringue mixture falling out, that's stiff enough)!
5. If you have a pastry bag, transfer the egg white mixture into it, and pipe the meringue out onto a baking sheet coated in wax paper. If not, just spoon the meringue out in large dollops.
4. Bake for 1 hour at 200 degrees.

Makes about twelve large meringues.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Amazing what electricity can do isn't it!
My dad used to make these when I was growing up and they are so fun and just the right amount of sugar!
Your Meringues are gorgeous!

Katy said...

Thanks! I was worried about what they'd look like, since I wasn't using a pastry bag, but sometimes a spoon works just as well! :-)

Cate said...

It took me a couple tries to nail down meringues too, which frustrated me since they always look so easy to make. Yours look divine!

Katherine said...

I LOVE meringues. I've sometimes made them by turning the oven on to 200, but then turning it off before the meringues go in. Then you leave them in there overnight. It probably makes them more uniform in texture throughout, though that's not always what you want. I think they can be so good when they're a bit gooey in the middle. :)

Michelle said...


If you don't have a pastry bag, you can use a ziploc bag and cut off a tiny corner. I've done that before and works just fine.

kellypea said...

I've never made these before, but recently had some with tiny flecks of chocolate mixed in. They were excellent. I, too, suffer from not having the "arm power" and have to get my husband to finish up. Thankfully, he enjoys all that whipping. Beautiful photo, btw!

Katy said...

Cate -- thanks!

Katherine -- yeah, I saw that method in some recipes and I might try it next time! Mine definitely were gooey in the middle, but exactly, so yummy in a different way. :-)

Michelle and Kellypea -- thanks!

la petite gourmande said...

Sadly, I've never been brave enough to try meringues. This sounds so amazingly do-able, I will have to give it a try! Do you find that the weather really does affect them?

Katy said...

Well, it's been super dry in NY lately (at least, I think it has bc I wake up with chapped lips every monring) -- so maybe the weather did have some effect! I'll have to make them in the summer and see. They have been my favorites since I was about 9 or 10 years old! However, I have definitely learned my lesson: I'm never making them alone in my apartment every again! I had eaten about six before I was even mildly sick of them. :-)