Swiss Meringue

Method

Swiss meringue is used for making simple shells or for topping a pie. A balloon whisk and copper whisking bowl will produce the most voluminous egg whites of the lightest and finest texture, however an electric beater works quite well. Be careful not to overwhisk the egg whites or else the meringue might ‘weep’ during baking. Any trace of yolk in the egg whites will prevent the whites from forming stiff peaks.

Two egg whites will make 12-16 shells or will top a 20 cm (8 in) pie.

  1. In a very clean bowl whisk 2 egg whites until they hold their shape and form a slightly floppy point. Whisk in 2 tablespoons caster or vanilla sugar, whisking until the meringue is smooth and glossy. With a large metal spoon gently fold in 75 g (3 oz) more sugar.

  2. To top a pie, spread the mixture over a cooled, baked tart, being careful to leave no gaps. Use a palette knife to make decorative peaks. Bake in a preheated oven, 160°C, 325°F, Gas Mark 3 for 20 minutes or until lightly tinged. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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