Once you’ve mastered this basic meringue, you can use it in a range of desserts, including pies and pavlovas.
N O - FA I L M E R I N G U E
M I X T U R E
- 225ml egg white (about 6 eggs)+
- 330g caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1½ tsp white vinegar
- Place egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until soft peaks form.
- Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until each addition is dissolved before adding more.
- Once all the sugar has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk for a further 10–15 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy.
- Place cornflour and vinegar in a bowl. Mix until smooth. Add cornflour mixture to egg white mixture and whisk for 30 seconds or until well combined.
Making meringue is a science. Be sure to measure your ingredients carefully, including the egg whites, as egg sizes do vary. Fresh, room-temperature eggs work best – when whisked they’ll become fluffy and voluminous, plus they’re more stable during baking.
Be patient when gradually adding the sugar to the egg white. Each tablespoon of sugar should be dissolved before the next is added.
Don’t over-whisk the meringue mixture – it’s ready when it’s thick, glossy, smooth and free of sugar granules. Check by rubbing a little mixture between your thumb and forefinger.
TIP: It’s best to avoid making meringue on humid days. Excess humidity can cause meringue to sink during or after baking.
L E M O N M E R I N G U E P I E
1 x 18cm sweet shortcrust pastry case*
480g store-bought lemon curd*
1 x quantity No-Fail Meringue Mixture
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) or 160°C (320°F) fan-forced. Place case on an oven tray and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Pour lemon curd into pastry case and smooth the top, using a palette knife. Spoon the meringue mixture over the lemon curd and grill for 2–3 minutes or until the peaks of the meringue are golden brown. Alternatively, use a small hand-held kitchen blowtorch to brown the meringue.
- Allow to cool, place the pie on a cake stand or plate and slice to serve.
These recipes and more are in Donna Hay’s Basics to Brilliance, $55. Each basic recipe is followed by clever variations and simple flavour change-ups, so one recipe becomes many and your repertoire naturally grows. This is your ultimate guide to being brilliant in the kitchen!