Italian meringue is far easier and quicker to cook than working our how to make meringues (opens in new tab) in the traditional way. Simply place under a preheated grill for a few minutes to lightly brown the top and you'll have a beautiful creation in a flash. It's often used to top pies and tarts, things like lemon meringue where you want a soft, pillowy texture with just a hint of caramelisation. You get this by using hot sugar syrup rather than the traditional powdered sugar method.. This recipe makes enough to cover a 24cm tart, or four 6cm ones.
- 50g caster sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 75 ml cold water
Dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat to precisely 121°C(248°F). Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites on medium until they form soft peaks. When the sugar syrup reaches the correct heat, pour into the egg whites, whisking slowly all the time, in a thin stream.
Continue to whisk until the meringue is cold, with a very stiff, smooth, and satiny consistency; Italian meringue can be cooked as soon as it is cold. Transfer the meringue mixture into a piping or pastry bag fitted with a metal tip. Squeeze the meringue mixture towards the tip to get rid of any air pockets.
Twist off the loose end of the bag then, squeezing with one hand, pipe the meringue over the surface of the tart in an attractive pattern. You may find it easier to hold the tip end with your other hand to keep it steady. A star tip is often used, but experiment with other tips for different looks.
Italian meringue is far easier and quicker to cook than traditional meringue. Simply place under a preheated grill for a few minutes to lightly brown the top.