3 egg whites, left at room temperature for 30 minutes
Pinch cream of tarter
¾ cup superfine granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
- PREPARE MISE: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a tray with parchment paper and set aside. Meringues do not like moisture, so if it is a wet or humid day be aware that this can affect the outcome of the cookie. Also, it’s best to use older eggs rather than fresh eggs. Separate the eggs one at a time in a separate smaller bowl so that if a yolk breaks, you don’t contaminate the entire batch of egg whites.
- WHISK EGGS: Whip egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric beater or whisk for a couple minutes. It is important that the bowl is completely clean as egg whites will not foam and hold their form if there is any fat or other residue incorporated.
- ADD SUGAR: As the egg whites start to turn from a viscous liquid to a foamy white, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time so that it completely dissolves into the mixture and isn’t grainy. A general rule is to use ¼ cup of sugar per egg white.
- STIFF PEAKS: The eggs should come to a stiff peak and look glossy. There are three peaks when whipping egg whites: soft, firm, and stiff. A soft peak will immediately fall back into the mixture when lifted with a whisk. A firm peak will stay up for two to three seconds, and a stiff peak will hold its form. Add remaining ingredients.
- PIPE MIXTURE: Pour mixture into a piping bag with a star tip and pipe onto parchment paper (or place by the tablespoonful onto the tray). A good tip is to put a little bit of the meringue mixture under the four corners of the parchment paper so that it stays down.
- BAKE LOW AND SLOW: Bake at 200 degrees for 1-2 hours. Then turn off the oven and let the meringues stay in the oven for an additional hour. They should be stiff but have no browning color and a soft interior. Dip into chocolate or serve with fruit or ice cream. Store in an airtight container.
- from TLP Test Kitchen, Charleston, SC