The Art Of: Italian Meringue

Welcome, followers and new readers to a new series which looks at some of the technical components of a dish, rather than a complete recipe. I thought one of the best skills to master would be meringue. Why? Because 70% of my recipes use it (I jest, but also…)

Meringue can take many different a guise – whether it be baked or soft and can be made in a variety of ways, each one using a specific method to produce a different result than one another.

I’m starting with Italian meringue because, well, it’s probably my favourite way to make a meringue. Yes, it’s a little bit of a faff but it produces the best end-result and is pretty much fool-proof.

Italian meringue can be either baked to product hard meringue for things such as eton mess or pavlova or left as a soft meringue as a topping on pies, cakes or…if you’re me, pretty much anything.

The below will give you a decent amount of meringue to pipe on top of two pies or fill a 3-layer cake.

Italian meringue is made by pouring a sugar syrup into the egg whites, thereby partly the egg whites.

3 egg whites
300g caster sugar
80ml water

Place the eggs into the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment. Place the sugar and water into a medium pan and heat on medium heat until the syrup reaches 110°C. Once at that heat, begin to whisk your egg whites. Once the syrup reaches 118°C, remove from the heat and pour gently and slowly into the meringues while you continue to whisk. Whisk until the meringue is completely cool and semi-stiff peaks are produced.

This method creates a stable meringue which will not ‘deflate’ for many hours. It’s great on pie, tarts, in cakes or eclairs, scorched lightly with a blowtorch.