Easy Dessert Recipe: Crisp Meringues with Whipped Cream
Serves 4 to 6
egg whites from large eggs
- 1 cup
- 1 teaspoon
- 1 cup
- 1 tablespoon
Fresh fruit, such as raspberries or sliced strawberries
Heat the oven to 250°F. Line two large baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.
Put the egg whites, salt, and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Start the mixer on low speed. As the whites turn opaque start adding the sugar in small increments — just a tablespoon at a time. Continue adding the sugar, and gradually increase the speed of the mixer. You will see the egg whites turn into an opaque foam, and then a "soft plop" stage where a drizzle of the foam holds its shape on the surface of the egg whites.
After this, the egg whites will get to the soft peak stage, where they hold soft peaks on a spoon. They are still quite soft, and easily slump over. The next stage is firm peak, where the egg whites are much glossier, with a tight surface. They hold peaks on a spoon or in the bowl, but their very tips flop over. The final stage is stiff peak, where the meringue will hold almost any shape. It will form sharp, distinct points in the bowl, and it is quite stiff and glossy. It should feel smooth and silky, with no sugar grains when the mixture is rubbed between thumb and finger.
Fill a piping bag with the meringue and pipe it long, overlapping strips of meringue that form cookies about the size of your hand, or a little smaller. (See this video for more visual instruction on piping meringue.)
Bake the meringues for 75 minutes. Turn off the oven and crack it open. (Stick a wooden spoon in to hold it open, if necessary.) Let the meringues cool completely. Then remove from the oven and store in an airtight container until serving.
Whip the whipping cream with the tablespoon of powdered sugar until it forms soft peaks.
Serve each guest a meringue or two with about 1/2 cup of the whipped cream. Serve fruit on top or on the side.