This meringue recipe includes tips for making the best meringues ever. Fresh home made meringues are an amazing treat and just perfect at afternoon tea.
These meringues are crisp on the outside and the inside is a soft cloud of fluffy marshmallow. Melt in the mouth bliss......
They look very pretty when piled up high on a plate for afternoon tea, or when served on a cake stand among other little treats. It's nice to have something that's not flour based as part of the tea. So many afternoon tea treats are heavy on the flour.
Before the meringue recipe itself, I'd like to dispell a few myths and worries for those who have not made meringues or have had disasters with meringues. There are a few simple pointers which will help make your meringues turn out perfectly.
Somehow it affects the egg whites and they go watery.
I wash them in hot soapy water and dry them with a clean tea towel before I start so I know they are clean.
Any trace of fat or oil will prevent the eggs from whisking properly and your meringues will not work.
This will stop the meringues from "weeping" during cooking.
Use the freshest eggs that you can get hold off. Stale eggs do not hold the air as well. Fresh egg whites are thick and gelatinous rather than watery.
Finally, if you like to refrigerate your eggs, take them out of the fridge a couple of hours before you intend to make the meringue. Chilled egg whites cannot hold the air as well as egg whites at room temperature.
The whole process is about getting the air in and keeping it there.
Meringues will keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks. If you want to keep them longer they do freeze quite well too. I generally serve them within a day or so.
Actually, they rarely last more than a few minutes once they go on the table!!
You could also use this meringue recipe to make nests for mini pavlovas if you so wish.
I think mini meringues look fantastic piled high in a large bowl - especially a glass bowl. We used a gorgeous piece of pink depression glass for the photo at the top, and it's perfect.
You have to be very careful with the meringues if you piped them - the tops break off very easily!
It's also lovely to put whipped cream in a bowl, put it on a plate and surround the bowl with strawberries and meringues. The strawberries and the meringues can then be dipped in the cream for an informal party.
Sometimes we like to swirl raspberry or stawberry puree through the cream.
If you want, you can sandwich two meringues together with whipped cream, which is very traditional, but it can be more messy and difficult to eat than just dipping.
For fun at Halloween, you can put little eyes on them and make them look like ghouls!
For a very pretty afternoon spread, try serving meringues with fresh strawberries and cream, white chocolate raspberry cake and lemon and mint cucumber sandwiches.
If you are serving a cake stand full of afternoon treats, meringues look great as part of the look. Try with dark chocolate cupcakes, a selection of finger sandwiches, and English tea scones with strawberry jam and cream.
As for tea, I think mini meringues taste fantastic with mint tea, or hibiscus tea, if you were to have them on their own. But usually, I serve this meringue recipe as part of an afternoon tea spread.