I’ve always wanted to try my hand at meringues, but like bread, I thought it was way too long of a process; how could I possibly commit to a 4 hour baguette or a 2 hour meringue, who has time for that? Apparently, lately, I do.
I just love that this recipe is essentially two ingredients, they’re pretty much just egg whites and maple syrup. I’ve read a few recipes that didn’t call for cream of tartar, so I think you could get away without it if you needed to. Also, I can’t get enough of the texture, each little puff is perfectly crisp on the outside with a bubbly inside that just melts on your tongue, leaving behind a delicious and not too sweet maple flavour.
Unfortunately I can't tell you how many meringues this recipe will make, I got caught up, so you'll have to settle for an educated guess. I think the 3 egg whites made about 100-120 meringues. I know that sounds like a lot, but if you’re sharing with other people, it isn’t. If you want to cut the recipe down, use two egg whites and ½ a cup of syrup.
Some things I learned along the way
Do not over whip the meringue, it turns into fluff (like dish suds) and simply won’t work
Make sure your oven is no higher than 210F, 200F would be best. If you have an old oven that tends to run hot, this recipe is not for you
If your oven has hot zones, make sure to rotate your pans
Small, one inch meringues are best, try your hardest to make them all uniform
If you don’t have a piping bag and frosting tip, a large ziplock bag with a small hole cut in one corner will work
Check in on the meringues from time to time
If you have one or two pans on a lower rack than the others, make sure to rotate them part way through cooking
Store in an airtight container, they should last a few weeks
The egg whites and syrup should be at room temp before whipping, so you can skip the double boiler if you have time to let them warm up on their own
3 egg whites
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 Pinch salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar
In a medium pot, bring a couple inches of water to a low simmer.
In a large heatproof bowl (metal or a glass), add the egg whites, maple syrup, and salt. Place bowl over the simmering pot of water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. The goal here is to use a “double boiler” to gently heat the liquid, the steam coming up from the water will heat the bowl without cooking the eggs like direct heat would.
Whisk the egg whites over the simmering water until the mixture is warm to the touch. This may take about 3-5 minutes, depending on how low your simmer is. Remove from heat.
Right away, start beating the egg whites on high speed using the whisk attachment on the stand mixer and the beaters with a hand mixer.
Beat until the egg whites have turned thick and shiny with stiff peaks. Stiff peaks are when you turn off the hand mixer, pull the beaters out of the meringue and have the meringue that last touched the beaters stay up-right, like a mountain with a tall peak, instead of the peak flopping over. This takes about 3 minutes, but be careful not to over do it.
Line 2-3 large cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 200°F.
Transfer meringue to a piping bag (or ziplock) fitted with a large open star tip (or tip of your choice) and pipe meringues onto the parchment lined baking sheet. About an inch in diameter each.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until dry to the touch. Turn off the oven, crack the oven door with a wooden spoon, and leave the meringues in for 1 more hour to finish drying them out.
Keep in mind that humidity affects meringues. These are best made on low-humidity days. Winter is the best season for making meringues and ensuring they dry out completely.
Meringues are destroyed by humid environments. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. So long as they are kept airtight, they should last for weeks.