Hi Bold Bakers!
Meringues have very few ingredients, but for how delicious and simple they are, people are a little timid when it comes to making them. But making perfect meringues, with a crunchy exterior and an incredible marshmallow-like center, takes little more than some patience and maybe a few helpful tips!
I recently shared my 5 simple steps to making the Perfect Pavlova, a dessert that I’m so happy is becoming more and more popular around the world! It’s one of my favorite desserts, and one I got to enjoy a lot in Ireland. I even got to convert Kevin into a believer with that recipe — he previously thought a pavlova was a hat!
Meringues are just the mini-version of a pavlova. I top these homemade meringues with an irresistible peach and raspberry compote but feel free to use any seasonal fruit.
What Are Meringues?
Meringues are a dessert made with simple ingredients: whipped egg whites, sugar, and an acidic ingredient — in this meringue recipe, I use white vinegar. If you’ve only had storebought ones, you’ve likely written them off as chalky, but meringues should be airy and light, with a crispy exterior.
Sometimes a flavoring is added, like vanilla, but I like to keep it simple by topping with a fruit compote and whipped cream.
What You Need To Make Meringues with Peach and Raspberry Compote
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- An electric stand mixer or a hand mixer
- Cookie sheet
- Parchment paper
How To Make Meringues with Peach and Raspberry Compote
- Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Using your electric stand mixer or hand mixer, whip egg whites in a clean bowl for 2 minutes on low speed. Do this until bubbles start to form.
- Turn the machine up to medium-high speed and whip the egg whites until they start to thicken. This should take around 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly, one tablespoon at a time, add all the sugar until it is incorporated. You want to make sure that your tablespoon is fully incorporated before adding another. The egg whites will double in volume and get shiny.
- Once you have added all the sugar, add cornstarch and white vinegar and continue mixing for 2 minutes.
- Scoop out 6 big spoonfuls of meringue onto your prepped cookie sheet. Make a dip in the middle; this is where you’ll pile on your cream and fruit compote.
- Put the meringue into the oven, turn it down to 250°F (125°C), and bake it for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Turn the off oven, prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon, and leave the meringue in the oven to dry out for 2 hours.
To make the Peach and Raspberry Compote:
- Dissolve the sugar in the water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and add in peaches, raspberries, and vanilla paste. Allow this to cool down and the flavors to combine. There’s no need to stir this. If you do, it will break up the fruit, and we want them to be full.
- Dollop whipped cream on top of the dried out meringue and top with the fruit compote and a little of the sauce.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Meringues
- Use egg whites that are room temperature; they will whip up much better than straight from the fridge. Fresh eggs are also ideal; they will hold the air better.
- Use cornflour (cornstarch) to help stabilize egg whites. It helps prevent weeping, but less is more here. Too much cornflour can make the meringues chalky. One teaspoon per egg white is generally a good amount.
- White vinegar also helps stabilize the egg white foam and prevents the mixture from splitting.
- Go slow when adding your sugar, spoonful by spoonful, once your meringue forms soft peaks. Patience is key!
- Cracking is normal, but to help prevent it avoid drastic temperature changes. Keep your meringues in the oven after baking to slow the cooling process.
- Humidity is not meringues friend — avoid making this recipe on very humid days.
How To Store Meringues with Peach and Raspberry Compote
You’ll want to enjoy your meringues with the whipped cream and fruit compote either after you assemble them or keep them in the refrigerator and enjoy within a day. Because of the soft texture of the meringues, the whipped cream and compote will cause it to soften and lose crispness.
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!
Full (and printable) recipe below the video!