The airy topping doesn't have to be scary.

By Stacy Adimando
August 06, 2020
Simple Vanilla Meringue
Photography by Caitlin Bensel
| Credit: Photography by Caitlin Bensel

Dressing up pies with poofy meringue is nothing new. But the luscious, airy topping can also bring a fluffy fanciness to lots of other foods. Add a few heaping spoonfuls to ripe halved fresh peaches or apricots, fudgy brownies, fruity sorbet, or chocolate pudding. Or make mornings sweeter by topping mixed berries, pancakes, crepes, or waffles with a dollop or two. Start with our basic recipe (plus tips!), then swoop and swirl away!

Cut the Fat

Fat (oily bowls, egg yolks) is the enemy of fluffy meringue. Make sure your mixing bowl is extra clean, then separate the whites into a small bowl before adding them to the mixing bowl. That way, if you break a yolk you can try again.

Add Some Acid

Just a touch of acid will help stabilize your meringue, making it less likely to separate, deflate, or weep (yep, it's as sad as it sounds). Our go-to is cream of tartar, a fine white powder that comes from the acid found inside wine barrels. All you need is a pinch.

Slow Down, Sugar

Beyond adding sweetness, sugar also helps the egg whites beat up into gorgeous, glossy peaks, but if you add it too quickly you could end up with a grainy mess. Sprinkle it in slowly, giving it time to dissolve.

Recipe: Try our Simple Vanilla Meringue

This article originally appeared in our Summer 2020 issue. Get the magazine here.