Given that all of the ice cream recipes I have given here call for egg yolks, I wanted to re-visit meringues, since they are such an obvious solution in terms of what to do with the egg whites. I wrote up a recipe before here, but I think the following is simpler and better.
Meringues are a lovely dessert – crunchy puff of sweetness on the palate. They can be enjoyed on their own, with whipped cream, or with ice cream and fruit. You can shape them into little baskets or simply make little meringue drops. They are, of course, gluten-free.
Meringues are said to have been invented in the 15th Century in the Swiss town of Meiringen by an Italian chef named Gasparini. They are made simply by beating egg whites, adding sugar and other ingredients, and then baking them. I like mine with a little hint of lemon. This recipe makes quite a lot of meringue, but since the ice creams mostly call for 5 egg yolks, it seems useful to use the 5 egg whites!
- 5 egg whites
- 350 g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
What to Do:
- Preheat the oven to 150C.
- Butter two large baking sheets.
- Beat the egg whites in a dry glass or stainless steel bowl (if using an electric mixer, do this at medium speed rather than high speed, which will take a bit longer but give the meringues more strength) until fairly stiff.
- Beat in the sugar in a slow stream, and then add the lemon juice, mixing all the time.
- Beat until very stiff and shiny.
- Using two spoons, place on the baking sheet. It should make 18 large meringues, so divide accordingly, leaving space around the meringues to allow them to expand.
- You can shape them as you wish!
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Cool on wire racks.
- If you want to make meringue nests, the easiest way is with a piping bag. Start in the centre, work out in a tight spiral, then build up the sides. Make them smaller that you might think, for the baked meringues will expand!
- There are many of things you can add to meringues in terms of flavouring – vanilla essence, almond essence, and cocoa for chocolate meringues are just a few examples. If you do add flavouring, always add it at the end, once the meringues are stiff.