Light, sweet, airy, and delicious, this classic Italian meringue is so good on top of tarts, pies, crepe cakes, and more. Meringue is an essential component for many desserts, and it just takes a few minutes to whip up! Read below for the recipe.
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What is Classic Italian Meringue?
Italian meringue is a combination of whipped egg whites and hot sugar syrup. The egg whites whip in a mixer until stiff peaks form, and then we add hot sugar syrup to both cook the meringue and to give it that amazing light and fluffy texture.
You may be wondering why you should use classic Italian meringue instead of French meringue. French meringue does not cook the egg whites except when place in the oven to bake. For some desserts, it’s not possible to place the dessert in the oven.
Hence, Italian meringue comes into play. The hot sugar syrup cooks the whites so that they are safe to eat without any additional baking. Of course, torching the meringue adds a nice touch and some extra flavor, but you can eat it as is with no worries.
5 Tips for Making the Best Italian Meringue
First, use a clean bowl and whisk attachment to whip the egg whites. Your meringue will be very sad and runny if there is any oily or fatty residue in the bowl.
Second, whip the egg whites on medium low as soon as you turn the stove on to cook the sugar syrup. This gives the eggs plenty of time to whip up to stiff peaks without being overwhipped.
Third, check on the egg whites periodically while the sugar syrup is coming up to temperature. If the whites reach stiff peaks before the sugar is ready, turn the mixture off so the egg whites doesn’t over mix.
Fourth, pour the hot sugar syrup into the whites at the edge of the mixing bowl while the mixer is running on medium speed. We need the mixer to be going fast enough to mix the syrup in so that it doesn’t sink to the bottom. On the other hand, we don’t want the mixer to be going so fast that we risk flinging hot sugar everywhere!
Fifth, whip the meringue on medium speed until the meringue has cooled to room temperature. The easiest way to check the temperature is by feeling the bottom of the mixing bowl with your hand or with the inside of your wrist. The bowl should feel cooler to the touch when it is done.
What Can You Use Italian Meringue for?
Lots of desserts! To start, you can make Italian meringue cookies, which are super easy! I give instructions below in the recipe in case you want to try the cookies. Aren’t the meringue cookies pretty? They are especially tasty dipped in chocolate and freeze dried raspberries!
You can also use Italian meringue on tarts, pies, Baked Alaska, or any dessert that calls for meringue. It’s really the best meringue recipe out there, and it’s super simple to make.
As a note, you do not want to let Italian meringue sit in the fridge for several days before using it on a dessert. It will lose volume and won’t be usable. For best results, use the meringue the same day you make it.
Essential Baking Tools
- A good kitchen scale for weighing the ingredients
- A stand mixer with a whisk attachment
- A candy thermometer
- A spatula
Desserts with Italian MeringuePrint
For the Italian Meringue
- 100 grams or 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 225 (1 cup + 2 Tbs) grams granulated sugar
- 55 grams (approx. 3 3/4 Tbs) water
To Make Italian Meringue
- Measure out eggs and pour them into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
- Add the sugar and water to a medium pot and turn the heat to medium. Don’t turn the heat up to high, as this can cause the temperature to rise too rapidly and go above the correct temperature.
- Turn the mixer onto speed 4 or 5 on a 10 speed mixer and let the mixer run while the sugar syrup is cooking.
- Check the whites every minute or so until it reaches stiff peaks. Turn the mixer on high for a minute or two if the whites aren’t as stiff peaks by the time the sugar syrup reaches temperature.
- When the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees, remove it from the heat. Turn the mixer to speed 5 and slowly pour the hot syrup into the whipping egg whites. For the best results, pour the syrup into the mixer between the edge of the bowl and the moving whisk. It can be a bit tricky, so pour slowly to keep it from splattering all over the bowl and your face!
- Let the mixer run on medium high speed until the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch.
- Remove from mixer and use on top of cakes, pies, tarts, etc.
- Store in the fridge if the meringue won’t be eaten within 2 hours.
To Make Italian Meringue Cookies
- Optionally, pipe the meringue into kisses on parchment lined sheets, and bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour. Let the meringues cool in the oven for another 2 hours so they can dry out completely.
- Dip in dark chocolate and crushed freezer dried fruit, such as raspberries or strawberries. Store meringues in an airtight container for up to a week.
- If you want just a dusting of freezer dried fruit instead of crushed pieces, put the freeze dried fruit in a food processor and pulse until fruit is blended. Then sift into a bowl so just the finest powder remains for dipping the meringues.
This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.
Keywords: italian meringue, sugar syrup