Our Test Kitchen dishes on the best meringue recipe, plus easy ways to make it your own!
Use the tips we have here to help make all your meringue treats perfect every time!
Test kitchen tips
- Go slowly and be patient when adding the sugar to the egg whites. Each tablespoon of sugar should be fully dissolved before the next is added.
- Be careful not to over-whisk the meringue mixture: it’s ready when it’s thick, glossy, smooth and there are no more sugar granules. You can check this by rubbing a little mixture between your thumb and finger; if it feels gritty, keep mixing.
- Be sure to measure your ingredients carefully, including the egg whites as egg sizes do vary.
- Use fresh egg whites. Older egg whites tend to collapse when other ingredients are folded in, and they don’t rise well in the oven.
- Use eggs at room temperature. Cold egg whites tend to reduce meringue volume.
- Never let any yolk get into the whites.
- When whipping egg whites, always start your mixer on low medium-low to medium speed. Beat them until foamy and increase the speed to medium-high and then to high. If the egg whites are beaten too quickly at the beginning, the structure of the foam will not be as strong, and later the egg whites will not beat as high as they should.
- Don’t use plastic bowls — they can retain a film of fat from previously mixed or stored items that can deflate the meringue.
- Bake meringues at a low temperatures as they tend to brown quickly.
- Leave hard meringues in the oven after baking; this will help them cool slowly and prevent cracking.
- Baked meringues should be stored in airtight, moisture-free containers.
A homemade fruit sauce is so handy when it comes to meringues: it can be used to swirl through whipped cream for a topping, as a sauce to drizzle over the finished pavlova, or even swirled through the raw meringue mixture before baking to achieve the swirled effect. We used raspberries here, but any berry will work.
Combine 100g frozen raspberries and 2 tbsp sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until slightly reduced. Strain into a heatproof bowl, discarding the seeds, and refrigerate until cool.
To make meringue nests
In step 2, spoon the meringue into a large piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe 7cm rounds onto the tray, piping two or more rings around the edge to form a nest. Bake for two hours until they are crisp and lift off the paper easily. Leave to cool completely.
Swirl meringue nests
Make one batch of meringue mixture. Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas mark 2. Place 8-10 heaped spoonfuls of the meringue mixture on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle your flavours of choice over the meringue and use a skewer or knife tip to create a swirled effect. Reduce the oven temperature to 120°C/100°C fan ó and bake for one hour or until crisp to the touch. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven with the door closed.
- Caramel sauce
- Cocoa powder
- Dulce de leche
- Chocolate sauce
- Raspberry sauce
- Biscoff spread
Need some more inspiration? Check out our collection of meringue recipes here!