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Someone, please give me a foolproof meringue recipe

(15 Posts)
CustardSocks Fri 30-May-14 15:17:05

I have just wasted 3 egg whites, following delia's meringue recipe to the letter, only to make light brown blobs of meringue shell with a huge mallow dough ball in the middle. A complete disaster. Nothing like the delicious M&S ones I would normally buy.

She said to heat the oven to 150, put them in and reduce the heat to 140, leave for an hour, turn oven off and leave to cool completely. What am I doing wrong?

OP’s posts: |
Helpys Fri 30-May-14 15:20:24

I'm afraid I always buy them. Unless I have a ridiculous glut of egg whites, it's cheaper.
But mine come out like yours do- and they're delicious! For shop bought like ones you need a touch of cream of soda and leave them overnight in an oven on the lowest setting with a wooden spoon holding the door open.
Not worth the faff IMO

CustardSocks Fri 30-May-14 15:33:22

Thanks for your reply Helpys. Maybe I'm giving delia a hard time then. Maybe they are meant to be like that! Just not what I was hoping for. I think I'll stick to buying them then. You're right, too much faff!

OP’s posts: |
ernesttheBavarian Fri 30-May-14 15:40:06

Were the bowl and beaters completely clean and dry? Even a greasy fingerprint apparently knackers it. I've never had a meringue mishap and always follow this advice since my school days.

Helpys Fri 30-May-14 15:42:13

Is it for a school bake or posh dinner party? I'm sure you can still use them.

zensational Fri 30-May-14 15:43:42

I make this one and it's always turned out great:

4 egg whites
225g golden caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white wine vinegar

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment. Whisk the egg whites with electric beaters until they just form stiff and shiny peaks. Gradually add the sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time and whisk really well between each addition. When all of the sugar is used up continue whisking for 3–4 minutes or until the meringue is stiff and glossy and stands up in peaks, then whisk in the cornflour and vinegar. Spoon the mixture onto the baking parchment and use a palette knife to make a circle about 20cm in diameter. Put in the oven, turn the temperature down to 120C/fan 100C/gas ½ and cook for 1½ hours. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue inside until completely cold (you can make this the day before and leave to cool overnight).

Carefully peel off the baking parchment and put the pavlova on a serving dish.

CustardSocks Fri 30-May-14 15:58:08

ernest they were clean. Can't be sure they didn't have greasy fingerprint but they looked ok when they went into the oven. If I try again, I'll keep that in mind, thanks.

helpys they were just for family pudding so I can still use them. I had made custard earlier in the week so had the egg whites leftover.

zen thank you for your recipe. Might give it a go another time. Delia alleges that cornflour and vinegar aren't necessary. But then she also says you can make homemade mayonnaise in 7 minutes. That was a whole other egg related mess...

OP’s posts: |
Hopeitsallok Sat 31-May-14 20:39:22

2oz caster sugar for every egg white you use, adding gradually, then cook at 90oC for 3 hours

nottheparrot Sat 31-May-14 20:41:48

I just use egg whites and caster sugar. 2 egg whites = 4 ozs sugar, 3 egg whites = 6 ozs sugar etc.

Whisk egg whites till stiff, then whisk in sugar a little at a time, till all thick and glossy.

Spoon onto baking parchment, either in individual 'blobs' or in the shape of a pavlova, then put in oven (pre-heated to Mark 1).

Leave for about an hour, then switch oven off and leave in there till cool.

No comparison with M&S ones (IMO!)

nottheparrot Sat 31-May-14 20:45:30

Sorry - that should be (approx.) gas 1/4 - 1/2 or Celsius 110.

Catsmamma Sat 31-May-14 20:47:37

I use 2 0z sugar to each egg white, just like hopeitsallok

but i do all the whisking by hand. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and whisk in the sugar...BUT only a table spoon at a time, don't rush it, you are trying to keep the air in the whites and dissolve the sugar.

IMO if you rush the adding of the sugar that causes problems.

Having said that meringues can be wilful if it is humid or damp. And often one that is mallowy will dry out over night if you leave them on a rack over the oven. Also, do not put them away until they are stone cold, or they can sweat....esp if you have folded in some of the sugar.

rhubarbcrumbleplease Sun 01-Jun-14 18:07:35

It might be that your eggs are too fresh, mine seem to take in more air if they're a bit older.
I also whisk for ages before adding the sugar. Low heat (120 fan) for almost 3 hours.

CustardSocks Sun 01-Jun-14 22:50:25

Thanks for all your replies. We ate them anyway and they tasted good. Just very a little chewy in the middle.

For next time, I will add sugar more slowly (may have been a bit quick with this) and go for a much lower temperature to try and avoid them going brown. I'll try older eggs too.

OP’s posts: |
CustardSocks Thu 12-Jun-14 09:55:30

Just popping back to say that I tried again, and Catsmamma, I think you have the key!

I added only a spoonful of sugar at a time and made sure it was really beaten in before adding more. It took a bit longer but the mixture was much glossier and smoother looking than it was the last time. They held their shape better and were more, well, meringuey!

OP’s posts: |
Montagu90 Sun 12-May-19 09:07:56

I know this thread is 5 years old but just wanted to say thanks to @Catsmamma and @zensational .

I have struggled for five years to make meringues that didn't flop when on the baking tray-I just followed this and they are glossy white and in glorious peaks!

First time I won't serve Eton mess instead of a pavlova as the meringues have gone wrong!

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