Mary Berry Meringue Recipe

Mary Berry Meringue Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr 10 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 20 Mins

Welcome to my kitchen! Today, I am creating a sweet sensation – Mary Berry’s Meringue. This delightful dessert is a marvel of light, crisp texture paired with a subtle sweetness. It’s the perfect treat for ending a family meal on a high note or adding a touch of elegance to your afternoon tea. This recipe is all about mastering the simple art of meringue-making, and I’m here to guide you through each step.

Let’s get started and discover how easy it is to craft these heavenly clouds of sweetness at home.

What is Mary Berry’s Meringue Recipe?

Mary Berry’s meringue recipe is a simple and delicious way to make light and airy meringues with just two ingredients: egg whites and sugar. You can use this recipe to make a large meringue ring that can be filled with whipped cream and fresh fruits, or smaller individual meringues that can be served as a snack or a dessert. Mary Berry is a famous British baker and cookbook author who has shared her tips and tricks for making perfect meringues on her TV shows and books.

Why You Love This Recipe

This simple meringue recipe has many advantages that make it a baker’s delight:

  • Simplicity – With just egg whites, sugar, and a couple of optional ingredients, these meringues couldn’t get much easier. The short ingredient list means you can whip them up anytime without lengthy prep or special equipment required.
  • Texture – The contrast of the crisp exterior and pillowy interior gives these meringues an unbeatable, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Each delicate bite melts on your tongue.
  • Versatility – This recipe can be tweaked in countless ways. Make individual bite-sized meringues or a large cake-like ring. Flavor it with extracts or spices. Top it with fruit, ganache – anything you crave!
  • Adaptability – The meringues can be customized for dietary needs. With no gluten, dairy, or major allergens, they work for food restrictions. The recipe can easily be made vegan by replacing the egg whites with aquafaba.
  • Presentation – Meringues are visually stunning on a dessert table. Pipe them into fun shapes and sizes or top them with colorful embellishments. They add flair to any spread.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Meringue:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • (Optional) 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • (Optional) 1 tsp cornflour
  • (Optional) 300 ml double cream, whipped
  • (Optional) Fresh fruits, such as berries, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves
  • (Optional) Icing sugar, for dusting

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Meringue:

Follow these steps to make this recipe to make this recipe:

Prepare the Baking Tray

  • Preheat the oven to 120°C/100°C fan/gas mark 1⁄2.
  • Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  • On the parchment, draw a 30cm circle in the middle.
  • Draw a 15cm circle in the center of the larger circle to make a ring. This will guide you when piping or spooning the meringue.

Make the Meringue

  • In a large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. The egg whites should stand upright when you lift the whisk and not droop down.
  • Gradually add the sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, while continuing to whisk at high speed. Whisk until the meringue is glossy and the sugar dissolves completely.
  • (Optional) Add 1 tsp vinegar and 1 tsp cornflour for extra stability, as suggested by Mary Berry.
  • Check for any remaining sugar grains by rubbing a bit of meringue between your fingers. It should feel completely smooth.

Bake the Meringue

  • Pipe or spoon the meringue onto the ring drawn on the parchment. You can pipe swirls using a piping bag with a large star nozzle or simply spoon dollops.
  • Spread the meringue out evenly within the ring and make a slight indentation in the center to hold the filling later.
  • Bake for about 1 hour 10 mins until the outside is firm and crisp while the inside remains soft and marshmallowy.
  • Do not open the oven door during baking as it may cause cracking or collapsing of the meringue.
  • Once baked, turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside to cool completely, ideally overnight. This helps it dry out fully and prevents sticking.

Assemble and Serve

  • Carefully peel off the parchment and transfer the cooled meringue to a serving plate or cake stand.
  • Fill the center with your choice of fillings like whipped cream and fresh fruits as suggested by Mary Berry.
  • Alternatively, use lemon curd, chocolate ganache, caramel sauce, etc based on your preference.
  • Dust with icing sugar before serving for a final touch.
  • Enjoy the light and decadent Mary Berry meringue!

Meringue Recipe Mary Berry

How Do You Know When The Meringues Are Done

  • Exterior Texture: The outside should be crisp and rigid with a light tap. It should not be sticky, soft, or rubbery.
  • Color: Meringues should be a uniform pale white or ivory. They should not take on any hints of brown, which indicates overbaking. Avoid speckles of darker brown spots.
  • Internal Texture: When you break open a meringue, the interior should still be light, soft, and marshmallow-like. It should not be dry or form cracks.
  • Hollow Sound: Tap the bottom of the meringue gently. A light hollow sound indicates it has dried out properly inside. A flat, dense sound means it needs more baking time.
  • Detachment from Parchment: Properly baked meringues should easily detach from the parchment paper without sticking. They should not leave behind a sticky residue.
  • Oven Spring: Look for meringues that have risen in volume and appear puffed up. Sunken, flat meringues need more baking time.
  • Aroma: Take a whiff inside the oven. The meringues should smell sweet, not overly eggy or burnt.
  • Bake Time: Cook time can vary based on size, but individual meringues take 1-1.5 hours at low heat. Larger meringues may take 1.5-2 hours.
  • Oven Door: Avoid frequent peeking, which can cause the delicate meringues to fall. Opening the oven door should be minimized.

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Meringue?

You can serve Mary Berry’s meringue with various fillings and toppings, such as:

  • Whipped cream and fresh fruits, such as berries, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves, as Mary Berry does. This is a classic and refreshing combination that works well for summer parties and picnics.
  • Lemon curd and toasted almonds, for a tangy and crunchy contrast. This is a great option for lemon lovers and those who want a more zesty flavor.
  • Chocolate ganache and chopped nuts, for a rich and decadent treat. This is a perfect choice for chocolate lovers and those who want a more indulgent dessert.
  • Caramel sauce and sea salt flakes, for a sweet and salty balance. This is a delicious alternative for caramel fans and those who like a more complex flavor.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Meringue

  • Make sure your bowl and whisk are clean and dry, and there is no trace of yolk or grease in the egg whites, as this will prevent them from whisking properly.
  • Whisk the egg whites on high speed until they form stiff peaks, which means that when you lift the whisk, the egg whites will stand up and not droop. This will ensure that the meringues are firm and hold their shape.
  • Gradually add the sugar, one teaspoon at a time, while continuing to whisk on high speed. This will help the sugar dissolve and create a glossy and smooth mixture. You can test this by rubbing a little bit of the mixture between your fingers; it should feel smooth and not gritty.
  • To make the meringue more stable, you can also add a teaspoon of white wine vinegar and a teaspoon of cornflour, as Mary Berry does in her pavlova recipe. This will help the meringue retain its moisture and prevent it from cracking or collapsing.
  • Do not open the oven door while baking, as this can cause the meringue to crack or collapse. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside to cool completely, preferably overnight. This will help the meringue dry out and prevent it from sticking to the paper.

Variations of Mary Berry Meringue

You can also try some variations of Mary Berry’s meringue recipe, such as:

  • Add some vanilla extract, lemon zest, or almond extract to the meringue mixture for some extra flavor.
  • Adding some food coloring or sprinkles to the meringue mixture for some fun and festive colors.
  • Making smaller individual meringues instead of a large ring, and sandwiching them with your favorite filling. You can also make different shapes, such as hearts, stars, or letters, using a piping bag and a nozzle.
  • Making a pavlova instead of a meringue, by spreading the meringue mixture into a round or oval shape, and baking it for a shorter time. This will create a softer and more cake-like texture, which you can top with whipped cream and fruits.

Mary Berry Meringue

How do I store Mary Berry Meringue Leftovers?

Storing Unfilled Meringues

  • Optimal Storage Conditions: Place unfilled meringues in an airtight container to protect them from humidity and external odors.
  • Room Temperature Is Key: Keep the container at room temperature, ideally in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
  • Duration: Unfilled meringues can be stored like this for up to a week while retaining their crispness.
  • Avoid Refrigeration: Do not refrigerate unfilled meringues, as the moisture in the fridge can make them become soggy and lose their texture.

Storing Filled Meringues

  • Refrigeration for Filled Meringues: If the meringues are filled with cream or fruit, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Shelf Life: Filled meringues can be kept for up to two days, though they are best enjoyed fresh.
  • Be aware that filled meringues may soften over time due to the moisture from the filling.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Meringue’s Leftovers?

  • Generally Best Served Without Reheating: Meringues are typically enjoyed at room temperature or cold, as reheating can alter their texture.
  • Slight Warming Method: If you prefer your meringues slightly warm, place them in an oven preheated to about 100°C.
  • Monitoring Reheating Time: Keep them in the oven for just a few minutes—long enough to warm them without drying them out.
  • Caution Against Overheating: Be careful not to overheat the meringues. Overheating can cause them to become dry, brittle, and lose their delicate texture.
  • Alternative Warming Method: As an alternative, you can warm them in a microwave at a very low setting for a few seconds. However, this method requires careful monitoring to avoid overheating.

FAQs

How do I know when the meringue is done baking?

The meringue is done when it’s firm and crisp to the touch on the outside, yet still soft and marshmallow-like on the inside. A good indicator is when it detaches easily from the parchment paper. Remember, it’s best not to open the oven door while baking, as this can cause the meringue to crack.

Can I make the meringue in advance?

Yes, meringue can be made in advance. Once baked and cooled, it can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Avoid refrigeration as it can make the meringue soggy.

Why did my meringue crack?

Meringue can crack for several reasons. It may be due to sudden temperature changes (like opening the oven door during baking), overbeating the egg whites, or baking at too high a temperature. For best results, follow the recipe closely and allow the meringue to cool slowly in the oven.

Is it necessary to use caster sugar? Can I use regular sugar?

While caster sugar is preferred due to its fine granules that dissolve more easily, regular granulated sugar can also be used. However, it might require a bit more whisking to ensure it’s completely dissolved and doesn’t leave the meringue gritty.

How can I ensure my meringue peaks stay stiff?

To ensure stiff peaks, make sure the bowl and whisk are completely clean and free from any grease. Also, add sugar gradually while continuously whisking, and don’t rush this process. Stiff peaks form best when the sugar is added slowly and thoroughly incorporated.

Can I add flavors or colors to the meringue?

Absolutely! You can add vanilla extract, almond extract, or lemon zest for flavor. For color, a few drops of food coloring can be added. Be sure to fold in these additions gently to maintain the meringue’s structure.

Final Words

Mary Berry’s simple meringue recipe uses just egg whites and sugar to create light and airy meringues with a crisp exterior and soft, marshmallowy interior. Follow her tips for whisking, baking, cooling, and filling the meringues to make this versatile dessert that can be customized into shapes and sizes. The result is gorgeous, decadent meringues perfect for any occasion.

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