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Haz tus Propios Merengues

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Un merengue es el postre más obvio que puedes hornear cuando tienes demasiadas claras de huevo, aún así muchos chefs caseros le temen a intentar hacer sus propios merengues.  Mira lo fácil que es si sigues los canones.

Con la cantidad de helados que hago, siempre hay muchas claras de huevo de más en mi refrigerador.  ¿Qué hacer con ellas?  La respuesta más obvia es hacer merengues - esta deliciosa y crujiente espuma dulce de clara de huevo.  Pero la reputación de su dificultad los ubica lejos de lo que la mayoría de chefs caseros intentarían.  Sin embargo, si sigues al pie de la letra unas instrucciones simples, no pueden fallar.

Merengues
1 parte por peso de claras de huevo 
2 partes por peso de azúcar
1 limón
Extracto de vanilla

El secreto de los merengues es batir las claras hasta que estén bien duras.  ¿Cómo logras eso?  La espuma de claras de huevo es un montón milagroso de burbujas de aire atrapadas en la más delgada membrana de clara de huevo.  De hecho, un castillo de naipes.  Hay ciertas fuerzas que ven esto como ir en contra de la naturaleza e intentarán desbaratar la espuma.  Para que tu espuma soporte sus ataques, la más estricta obediencia a ciertas reglas es necessaria.

  1. Unicamente las claras de huevo más limpias pueden espumarse.  Los huevos, el recipiente y los utensilios deben estar impecablemente limpios. Esto quiere decir sin ningún residuo de yema, de grasa o de jabón.  Ni siquiera su olor o tu castillo de naipes no se levantará.  Yo cuelo mis claras con un colador fino para remover la mayor parte de las impurezas.  No utilices recipientes de madera o de plástico ya que son difíciles de limpiar, ni uno de aluminio, ya que crea una reacción con los huevos.  Tratar de batir claras con el más mínimo residuo de grasa es como construir un castillo de naipes con el  viento soplando.
  2. Agrega un poco de ácido  a las claras - limón o cremor tártaro, un químico utilizado por los chefs reposteros.  O bate las claras en un cuenco de cobre, pero por favor nada de ácidos en un cuenco de cobre o tus invitados irán a parar directo a cuidados intensivos, en caso de que logres convencerlos de echar mano a los merengues verdes que un ácido en un cuenco de cobre invariablemente producirá.
  3. Finalmente, ayuda mucho utilizar una batidora eléctrica o mecánica.  Te quebrarás las muñecas tratando de batir claras a picos duros con un batidor manual.  Aquí en FXcuisine.com usamos una maquina de cocina Kenwood.  Funciona de maravilla, pero también puedes utilizar una más pequeña.
  4. Usa claras de huevo viejas. Simplemente déjalas en un recipiente cubierto en el refrigerador por una semana.  Espera a que alcancen temperatura ambiente antes de batirlas.

Si quieres entender por que esto funciona así, lee el invaluable On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen uno de los mejores libros de cocina que existen.

Cuela claras de huevo perfectamente limpias y que tengan ya unos días y pesa las claras coladas.  En otro recipiente, mide el doble del peso de las claras en azúcar.  Puedes utilizar azúcar granulada o la mitad de azúcar glas y la mitad de azúcar granulada común.

Talla el limón por todo el recipiente, que debe estar perfectamente limpio.  El limón le impartirá un sutil y rico sabor a limón a los merengues.

Vierte las claras coladas en el recipiente y bátelas  a picos duros.   Una vez que la espuma está dura y no antes, gradualmente ve añadiendo el azúcar mix in the sugar mientras sigues batiendo. El azúcar absorverá algo de la humedad y endurecerá más tu espuma.  Añade el extracto de vainilla en caso de utilizarlo.

Debes tener una crema cream muy dura de un blanco intenso.

Llena una duya con la crema de merengue.

Coloca papel encerado en una charola de hornear y haz pequeños montículos de igual tamaño.  Trata de no mover la duya al exprimir y el merengue formará bonitos montículos circulares.  No es pasta de dientes y no quieres churros white slugs.

No necesitas mucho espacio  entre ellos ya que no expandirán mucho.  dependiendo del uso que les darás, puedes puedes hacer barritas o incluso un disco.

Mis 200 gr de claras de huevo coladas me dieron para dos charolas completas de merengues.  Calienta el horno a 105°C/220°F y hornea como 90 minutos.  Si tu horno funciona aún con la puerta abierta, atora un recipiente de aluminio para que quede entreabierta y el vapor de los merengues pueda escapar, así se secarán mejor.

Pasan dos cosas cuando horneas merengues.  Primero la espuma de azúcar/huevo cambia su estructura.  Luego toda el agua se evapora, dejando una estructura quebradiza.  Dependiendo del tamaño del merengue que hagas, puedes tener que dejarlo a secar en el horno a 80°C con la puerta entreabierta para que se sequen perfectamente.

No dudes en tomar uno y probarlo.  El interior debe estar seco pero puede estar ligeramente chicloso, como un caramelo.

¡Te deseo éxito con tus merengues!  Este es el merengue más simple y el más natural para preparar en casa, conocido en el oficio como 'Merengue francés' o 'Merengue común'.  También existen 'Merengues italianos' y 'Merengues suizos' que toman una técnica un poco más compleja.


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59 comentarios

  • #1
  • Comment by C Ann Kuhn
What a lovely and very explicit recipe and pictures to make a perfect meringue.  I think I want to make larger ones with a well to place mixed berries for an exquisite dessert.
  • #2
  • Comment by BK
Meringue brought back sweet memories of my mother. She would make meringue whenever she has lots of egg whites left from using the yolks for other recipes.I'll make some following this recipe and let my mother try them!
  • #3
  • Answered by fx
Thanks for the nice comment, Ann!
BK, I am so pleased you like the recipe enough to compare it to your mother's. This is really praise from Caesar!
  • #4
  • Comment by david
I'm going to try this, I think it looks easy and delicious ... sagenhaft!
  • #5
  • Comment by sannie
My husband loves to eat meringue that's why I try to browse the internet and find your recipe... Thank you so much I will try to make it next week... and the photos look lovely and makes my mouth watery.... This is Annie from FRANCE.
  • #6
  • Comment by stas
Very nice HOWTO, especially the tip about leaving them to dry for a few hours.Now I can finally make my own meringues :-)Thanks.
  • #7
  • Comment by susie
I have problems with a runny meringue.  I will try your tips.  
  • #8
  • Comment by michaela
Sometimes my meringues are perfect but other times they leave a toffee like lump that gets stuck in the teeth. Why is this as I can't work out if I have done something wrong.  Thank you
  • #9
  • Comment by james tatchell
Very user friendley! Thank you, you helped my dessert be a success!
  • #10
  • Comment by Sheri
I've searched several times for a "good" recipe, as I had lost one from my mother's Hoosier Inn restaurant in Indiana in the 1940s.  How delighted I was that someone had posted the hyperlink to this recipe at another site.I love knowing the reason behind why you should do something & you certainly explained this extremely well.  Plus, the pictures are excellent.  Thank you so much!P.S.  Now if you have a recipe for a Crustless Cheesecake (not a cheesepie, that most of the recipes 'actually' are, I would love it.  lol
  • #11
  • Comment by becky
THANKS for posting! it is incredibly useful with the details and pictures! keep posting please! my first attempt at meringue failed miserably because I did not use an electric mixer... I hope now with your tips I can bake real meringues:)
  • #12
  • Comment by Florence
Is it possible to make the meringue ahead (1 hour of so)of time? ..... because I have always made it when I was ready to put it in the oven, and the noise of the beating of egg whites has always been unsatisfactory to me!
  • #13
  • Comment by Dennis
Hi, thank you for a very imformative article!  If you wish to use cream of tartar, is there a certain amount to use?  Also how important is it that the egg whites are room temperature vs refrigerated before you whip them up?  Thank you for your help.  Dennis
  • #14
  • Comment by Judith A. Doan
I'm 65 years old. The print is way too small. What type of bowl should I use? Can you let me know now? I'm in the process of making meringue, please. Appreciate your help. Thank You!    Judy Doan      Maskeegirl@yahoo.com
  • #15
  • Comment by Gilda Garcia
Very helpful tips and pictures. I love meringues.  
  • #16
  • Comment by Tracy
Meringues are naturally a lower calorie cookie but since I'm really watching my sugar I decided to substitute half the sugar with Splenda.  Also added 3 drops of yellow food coloring and 1/2 tsp banana flavoring (to two egg whites) along with 3/4 cup chopped walnuts. This made wonderful Banana Nut Meringues that I'll be taking to my next club function! thanks for the great photos!
  • #17
  • Answered by fx
Flavored meringues are very popular in France too. I'm glad the recipe worked for you!
  • #18
  • Comment by Phyllis Roedername
I enjoyed reading about how to make the meringue.  My problem is that it usually "weeps" after I take it out of the oven (lemon meringue pie).  What causes the weeping and how can I prevent it?  With that answer, I will have the perfect pie!  Many thanks!!
  • #19
  • Comment by Dalline
I loved your article but was trying to find out about merinques on pie.  When  to put on cold or hot pies and what to do to keep them from seeping after they have been on a while. Any help will be great.Thanks
  • #20
  • Comment by paulette roos
What causes pies to sweat? My meringue pies have a syrup like liquid between topping and filling.
  • #21
  • Comment by rutuja
The procedure is very well and easily explained.Home u put up some more recipes like this!
  • #22
  • Answered by fx
Thank you Rutuja!
  • #23
  • Comment by Steve
Can this be done without sugar or sugar substitutes?Thanks
  • #24
  • Answered by fx
Steve, I don't think you could really do meringue without sugar. If it's possible, I don't know how, sorry!
  • #25
  • Comment by Yvonne Russell
I have my meringues in the oven now and they look just right!  I hope they bake well, and will let you know if any problems ensue.  Thank you for this recipe and I will be visiting your we site again.  Yvonne
  • #26
  • Answered by fx
Yvonne you have done the hardest part, making the meringue. Just let them bake in peace and on a low heat and they will be just fine. Good luck!
  • #27
  • Comment by Sarah
I'm in despair!  No matter how carefully I whisk, once I get my egg whites to the 'standing in peaks' stage, once I start adding sugar, even just a little sprinkle at a time (usually I'm using a mixture of caster and icing sugar), the whole lot just turns to runny liquid.  What on earth am I doing wrong?  A neighbour told me I had overbeaten the eggs, but someone else told me to whisk them til they wouldn't drop out of the bowl and I can never get to that stage before they turn runny, they will ALWAYS just slide out of the bowl!  Please help.
I was very impressed by the precision at which the recipes were described. In and throughout the language used was persistently clear, whilst maintaining a refreshingly humorous, yet informative tone...I am utterly delighted to have come across such gem of a website!


good work!


Al sage.
I loved your article about meringue, but am interested in meringue for pies, my crust always gets soggy, because my meringue weeps, I have never beat the egg whites completely stiff before adding the sugar, would this cure my weeping of the meringue other wise the pies turn out fine.  I usually add the sugar when the egg whites come up in a little stiff piece that stands up.    Thanks for any help.  Dalline
  • #30
  • Answered by fx
Sarah, there are lots of things you can try. First use only the cleanest pots, whisks and above all, egg whites. Then let your egg whites age in the fridge for a good week before trying. If you have an all-copper pot, use it to whisk the whites. Otherwise add a drop of lemon to stabilize them. Add the sugar gradually. You might want to try an electric whisker. I hope this helps!
  • #31
  • Answered by fx
Albert, thanks a lot for visiting and I'm glad you liked the recipe! Check out some of my other articles, you might enjoy the Paneer one.
  • #32
  • Answered by fx
Dalline, I will soon publish a rhubarb meringue pie recipe, but otherwise just read the tips about meringue making and follow them strictly, it should help with your results. Good luck!
  • #33
  • Comment by Una Smith
Here is a random use for meringues.  I made little meringue drops to use as the base of icing roses to decorate a birthday cake.  I put them in the cold oven to dry out of the way, then forgot they were there and turned on the oven.  Oops.  Well, the meringues were still moist inside and they puffed up into ... mushrooms!  Each one with a cap and stem, bent at its own funny angle.  I decorated them like psychedelic toadstools, using food coloring and a paintbrush, and stuck them all over the cake.  It was a huge success.
  • #34
  • Answered by fx
Una, this looks like a terrific discovery, those popping meringues. Do you recall the size of the drops, the temperature and time you baked them?
  • #35
  • Comment by Scotty
I'm really rather glad that I found your website, Ive been reading through it and its now one of my favorites. As for your meringues, They work out a treat, An absolute treat! I'm going to tie it into the Pavlova recipe my grandmother taught me  to see if it will help ( Pavlova is basically a giant meringue)
  • FX's answer→ Good luck with the Pavlova Scotty!

  • #37
  • Comment by judy b
Great article and helpful because I made a chiffon cake and it used 7 yolks.  My ownly problem is I have no scale to weigh and wish I knew how many whites to use.  like 4 whites and 2 cups of sugar---something akin to that.  But learned to keep oven ajar too.  Thanks   judy
  • FX's answer→ Oh Judy, you nailed down a very critical point here. There are all sizes of eggs out there, if you count the eggs or egg whites instead of weighing them, your cakes and meringues will be very different depending on the eggs you use. If you want to do bring your pastry to the next level you have to buy a digital scale - no other way.

  • #39
  • Comment by elena valencia
me gusto mucho tu receta de los merengues, y sobre todo que lo pones paso a paso, quedarian igual los merengues si les añado splenda, y sabor artificial?, gracias de antemano por tu respuesta. bye
  • FX's answer→ Hola Elena, gracias por tu visita! Desgraciadamente no si si puedes añadir splenda, tienes que pruebar. Però si que puedes usar todos los sabores artificiales y naturales que quieres. Buena suerta!

  • #41
  • Comment by Patricia
Gracias por la receta. Los tips estan muy buenos. ahora trataré de llevarlos a cabo. La verdad es que nunca me han salido bien.
  • #42
  • Comment by anm
Simply astounding Francois
  • #43
  • Comment by alex
I have been making meringues for dessert since 1974,
when I came to the States from England.
I serve them with whipped cream/confectioners sugar
sandwiched between 2 meringues.   So good!!!
  • #44
  • Comment by Jonathan
Dear FX,

 Thank you for your clear advice for the meringue.  I successfully made them here - even though it rained throughout the day! :).  I gave them a little coffee flavor.  I want to make some candies and confections for Christmas but don't have a candy thermometer yet.   
  • FX's answer→ Glad this helped you, Jonathan. Cooking sugar for confectionery is tricky, even with the thermometer. Good luck!

  • #46
  • Comment by boots
Baked a pavlova for almost two hours in a gas oven; opened the oven to check if dried, closed the oven as the top felt crispy, cooked and dry. Looked through the glass door oven without opening the oven, and the pavlova top crumbled and looked hallow inside even when left in the oven to cool. What had caused this?  How could the entire Pavlova be intact without this crumbling problem.  Your help would be much appreciated as soon as possible as a relative of mine would like me to show her to prepare this great recipe
Many thanks in advance.
  • FX's answer→ Maybe you overbeat your eggs, or added too much water. Not certain what happened here.

  • #48
  • Comment by boots
Thanks so much for your reply, but I will try your recipe once again tonight and will keep you posted. Have a great wkend.  
  • #49
  • Comment by lucila
hacia mucho tiempo queria saber esta receta muchas grasias
  • #50
  • Comment by Boots
Re:13/02/2010 - problem... Yes, it worked now that the eggwhites were not overbeaten.  More yummy this time, and many thanks for your prompt reply and guidance. Your website photos are marvelous for any new baker.
  • #51
  • Comment by LouLou
Just brilliant. I love the photos and the clearly defined method for making french meringues! I'm going to make them this weekend !!
  • #52
  • Comment by Zach
Word to the timid: I just made these without a scale, parchment paper, piping bag, baking sheets, or calibrated oven (does that feel like 200 degrees?  Sure!) and they came out perfect.  Exactitude is apparently unnecessary; my egg whites were 8 days old and filtered, though.
  • FX's answer→ Zach, glad the meringue worked even with just a fork for cookware!

  • #54
  • Comment by Rutpak
Great blog and great photos, nice change from many US food blogs.
I did meringues yesterday and they was excellent. I add more lemon and whisk by hand (it was quite tiring) two days old filtered whites. After a night my meringues was ever more tasty. I am thinking about making ragù bolognese, it will be second time I'd made it. First time I made it using very similar recipe to yours. This time I thinking about not using milk and using vegetable stock instead of chicken.
Emil.
  • #55
  • Comment by Leah
what substitue is for parchment paper? I learn to make the meringues at first time.
  • FX's answer→ This is only used so that the meringue do not stick to your baking dish.

  • #57
  • Comment by sue lyon
milles mercies. i made meringues many years ago and had forgotten how to do it. i actually had done them in my copper bowl. this time i had a pint of eggwhites just sitting in the fridge because i had made several key lime pies. i tried, actually the meringues are in the oven now. it was so long ago that i had a pastry bag that this time i cut a small hole in a ziplock bag and used it as my forcing bag. it worked perfectly. oh thanks you again. your recipe was easy, clear and just delightful.
  • #58
  • Comment by Skibee
Stunning photos! Worked beautifully. I added instant coffee powder as I love coffee flavor meringues! Thank you for the great article.
  • FX's answer→ Good idea, flavoring meringue, makes them more interesting




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