Meringue Nests
Cuisine: French
Author: Kitchens
Prep time: 45 mins
Cook time: 65 mins
Total time: 1 hour 50 mins
Meringue is a light, sweet dessert made mostly from egg whites and sugar and can be used for various purposes, depending on how it is cooked.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR 1 vanilla bean (seeds only)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces egg white, about 5 to 6 large eggs or 3/4 Cup
  1. Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Reserve the yolks for another use, such as lemon curd.
  2. Allow the whites to sit at room temperature in a bowl for 30 minutes before beginning the recipe.
  3. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Prepare a large baking sheet (or 2 medium) by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside. Set the oven rack in the middle position.
  4. Add the cornstarch and sugar to a small bowl; whisk to combine.
  5. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat for 1 minute, then increase speed to medium‐low.
  6. Beat for another minute, then increase speed to medium. Beat for 2 minutes, or until the mixture has small bubbles and soft peaks start to develop.
  7. Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the bowl as the whisk continues to beat. Increase the speed to medium‐high. Beat for 2 minutes.
  8. Add the vanilla. Increase the speed to high and beat for an additional 2‐3 minutes. You’ll know when it’s ready when the meringue is shiny and has developed stiff peaks.
  9. Use the meringue for whatever you’d like, such as topped on a pie or in a pavlova recipe. For individual pavlovas, you can spoon little nests (6 to 8 total) of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet. Then, bake at 250 degrees F for 50 to 65 minutes. Rotate the pan(s) halfway through baking.
  10. Finished meringue should be crisp, but not cracked. The insides will have a marshmallow‐like consistency. Cool baked meringue on a wire rack.
Cooking meringue low and slow, as you would for a pavlova, will produce a crisp, dry product. Meringue may also be cooked for shorter periods at a higher temperature with the end result being a soft meringue with browned peaks on top (as you would in a lemon meringue pie). Various desserts using meringue as a base include: angel food cake, pavlova, Baked Alaska, key lime pie, lemon meringue pie and Eton Mess.
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