5 Egg whites @ room temp
1/4 ts Cream of tartar
1/4 ts Salt
1 ts Vanilla
1 1/4 c Sugar
Grease + flour 2 baking sheets. Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, salt,
+ vanilla in a large bowl. Beat (at medium speed if a mixer is used) until
egg whites hold soft peaks. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, a tablespoon at a
time, beating continuously. Continue beating until meringue is very stiff
and dull. It has been beaten enough when a bit, rubbed between thumb +
finger, is no longer grainy. The meringue should be stiff enough to hold
it's shape when formed with a pastry tube. Gently fold in remaining sugar.
Meringues should actually be dried rather than baked. Herein lies the
secret of making meringues which are tender, delicate, and light-colored,
rather than overly crisp, tough, and too dark to be either attractive or
delicious. The best meringues are baked by the following method:
Set oven teperature at 200 degrees before beginning to beat the egg whites.
After shaping the meringue mixture on baking sheets, place in the preheated
oven for 15 minutes. Then turn off the oven heat. Allow the meringues to
remain in the oven with the heat rurned off for at least 4-5 hours -- the
longer the better. If your oven has a pilot light, the meringues will be
ready a little sooner. The meringues should be totally dry before removing
them from the oven. If you can, leave them in the oven overnight.
For many of us, however, time is a factor. If you can't take the time to
bake meringues this slow, slow way, accept second best + simply bake them
slowly, setting the oven temperature for 200 degrees or less if possible.
At 200 degrees, meringue layers will need to bake for about 40 minutes;
small meringues may take a little less time.
Whatever method you use, it is important to prevent the meringues from
coloring, since even a light tan color changes their texture and taste as
well as their appearance.
When thoroughly dry, meringues can be kept covered in a dry airy place (NOT
in a tightly covered box) for several weeks.
ALTERNATE MIXING METHOD by ELECTRIC BEATER
Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla in
large bowl. Beat at high speed until egg whites hold peaks. Add 1/2 cup
sugar, all at once. Beat at high speed until mixture is very stiff and
there are no grains of undisolved sugar. Fold in remaining sugar.
To shape Swiss Meringue into layers and rounds follow directions given
Grease and flour a large baking sheet. Press the rim of a 9-inch layer
cake pan or a 2-inch cooky cutter lightly into the flour on baking sheet to
make guides. If Baking Pan Liner Paper is used, the guiding circles will
have to be traced with a pencil. Spread mixture within circles. OR: Fill a
pastry bag fitted with a No.3 or 5 tube with prepared mixture. Starting in
center of each circle, press out bater in a long, continuous, pencil-thick
strip, curling it round + round until traced circle is completely filled in
(spiral). For best control, press out batter slowly, holding bag at least
1 inch away from sheet.
Bake in a 325 degree oven, 25 minutes for small rounds, 35-40 minutes for