Since it is made with sugar syrup that has been taken to the soft ball stage, it won’t weep and deflate upon sitting like other meringues, which makes it Perfect for topping a pie.
You can use it straight-up as a nice airy cake frosting, top a pie (brown before serving), or use it as the base for Italian butter cream.
*When working with sugar syrup, have a bowl of ice water right near you in case of splashing.” Nothing burns like a sugar burn, friends. If it gets on you, resist the urge to put the burned part in your mouth. You’ll just have a burned mouth, too. Hence, the ice water. (Thank you, Derek, for that excellent tip).
After the recipe, check out a step by step Italian meringue photo tutorial.
- 1 part egg whites
- 1¾ parts sugar
- ¼ part corn syrup, (the corn syrup helps to keep your sugar syrup from crystallizing)
- flavoring, (vanilla, liqueur, etc)
- This takes some timing and a candy thermometer.
- Put your whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.
- Put your sugar, corn syrup and enough water to make things wet in a heavy-bottomed pot on the stove.
- Stir to get things going, then bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid or a piece of plastic wrap and let boil for 2-3 minutes to clean the sides of the pan of any errant sugar crystals. Take off lid/carefully remove plastic wrap.
- Plop in your candy thermometer. No more stirring. You’re shooting for 244 degrees, F. (You can go to 240, but I’m partial to 244).
- When the sugar syrup reaches about 225 degrees, start whipping your whites. Ideally, they’ll be at medium peaks when your sugar reaches 240-244. You might need to play around with this a little bit.
- When the sugar is about 2 degrees cooler than you want it, carefully remove from the stove, turn the burner off (I forget, sometimes), and turn the mixer speed down to medium.
- Steadily pour a thin stream of the sugar syrup down the inside of the bowl. Pour slowly enough that you don’t splash syrup on the whisk, thereby shooting molten sugar all over the inside of the bowl and not in your meringue.
- When all the syrup is in, crank that puppy back up to high speed and whip until cool. Add flavorings, and there you have it. Italian Meringue. Yay!
frost a cake (use a torch to brown the meringue)
top a pie (again, a torch comes in handy here)
whip in extracts to flavor it
whip in sifted cocoa powder, to taste, for a chocolate meringue
whip cool butter into the meringue, a bit at a time, to make Italian buttercream
Here’s your photo tutorial, as promised!
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