Meringues—aka the solution to your egg white problem. Whenever I make vanilla pudding, pound cake or anything with a lot of egg yolks, I’m left with a load of egg whites. Since nothing likes to get wasted in my kitchen, instead of throwing them out I save the whites and make meringues! Cherry streaked meringues, to be exact.
These sweet pillowy clouds are easy to make and always a huge hit. Serve them on their own, as an Eton Mess (broken up with a big dollop of whipped cream and seasonal berries) or stack them WAY up high between layers of macerated cherries and cinnamon flavored whipped cream.
Zero Waste Tip: You can freeze your egg whites for up to 1 year so be sure to label (noting how many egg whites you are freezing) and date.
How to pipe nests all the same size?
Draw circles on parchment with a pencil as a guide when piping nests. I have a measuring tape, Sharpies, a pencil, labels, Post-it notes and binder clips are all in one of my kitchen drawers!
Meringue Making Tips
- You need a clean dry bowl (preferably not plastic) when dealing with whipped egg whites. Meringues do not like moisture or any traces of fat or grease. It is also not ideal to bake them on a hot humid day.
- The finer the granules of sugar, the more easily they dissolve into the egg whites, giving the meringues a smoother consistency. However, when I was growing up my mom always used regular granulated sugar and her meringues always turned out just fine. So, don’t worry if you don’t have superfine sugar, just use what you have.
- Make sure to add the sugar slowly so that it’s fully incorporated into the egg whites. If there are still granular bits at the bottom you will end up with those weird weepy meringues that look like they’re sweating. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you want to avoid it just add the sugar slowly, bit by bit.
- Cold eggs are easier to separate than room-temperature eggs. However, room-temperature whites whisk better, and you get more height from them. If you have the time, sepa- rate eggs right out of the fridge, but let the whites come to room temperature for 30 minutes before beating.
Cherry Streaked Meringues
- 3 egg whites large
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 cups pitted cherries, cut in halves fresh or frozen
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 200°F (95°C) and line a baking sheet.
- In a very clean bowl, and with a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites until peaks form and they have doubled in volume, about 3–5 minutes.
- While beating, add lemon juice and then very slowly pour in the sugar 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time until all of it is incorporated. Continue to beat until whites are stiff and glossy. Beat in vanilla.
- Using a piping bag or spoon, make mounds or nests about 3 inches (8 cm) in diameter on the baking sheet.
- Bake 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours in the oven until the meringues are crisp and lift easily off the sheet. They should sound hollow when tapped underneath.
- Toss cherries with maple syrup and let stand for at least 10 minutes. This will macerate them so they naturally release some of their juices.
- Whip cream with the cinnamon until you have soft billowy peaks.
- Layer meringues with macerated cherries and whipped cream, or create an eton mess by breaking them up in whatever mess you like with dollops of whipped cream and berries.