Meringue with Crème Anglaise
Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours
Knowing how to make and use meringue is handy for a kitchen with special dietary needs. The meringue shells pictured above are filled with whipped cream, raspberries, and served on crème anglaise. In addition to serving as a shell, meringue may also be used to top cakes and pies, or simply be served as a light and airy cookie.
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1¾ cup whole milk
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
4 large egg yolks
½ cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
Whipped Cream for garnish, optional
Raspberry Coulis for garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 225°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the perfectly clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a perfectly clean whisk attachment (or if you are using a handheld mixer, in a perfectly clean mixing bowl), beat the egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar just until soft peaks form (see Kitchen Tips). With the mixer still running, add the sugar, a little at a time, until stiff peaks form, about 6 to 8 minutes in total.
To make meringue shells:
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1-inch round or star tip. Use a 3-inch diameter glass or other round object as a guide to draw 6 circles on each sheet of parchment paper.
- Starting at the inside rim of one of the circles, pipe meringue in a spiral, filling the circle. Form the sides of the shell by piping 2 circles on top of each other around the rim. Repeat with the remaining circles.
- Bake until dry and crisp, 1½ to 2 hours. Turn off the oven and cool the meringues in the oven for at least 1 hour. Once they have completely cooled the shells should be very dry and light. Fill with fresh berries and serve with crème anglaise (see instructions below) or with raspberry coulis and whipped cream.
- Turn off the oven and cool the meringues in the oven for at least 1 hour. Once they have completely cooled, the shells should be very dry and light.
To make the crème anglaise:
- Place ice water in a large bowl and a smaller bowl into the ice water. Place a fine mesh strainer over the smaller bowl. Set the ice bath aside next to your stove top.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and vanilla bean paste. Cook until bubbles begin to form around the edges. While the milk is heating up, add the egg yolks and sugar to a bowl and whisk to combine. Drizzle all of the hot milk into the eggs in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the pan. Switch to a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula and stir continuously over low heat until the custard coats the spoon, about 4 minutes, without overcooking or allowing to boil. Immediately pour through the fine mesh strainer into the bowl ice bath to stop the cooking. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- When beating egg whites, an impeccably clean bowl is a must; even a bit of grease can decrease their stability. Egg whites will go through several stages as you beat them. At the soft peak stage they will be glossy and foamy, retain their basic shape but will droop a bit, and won’t entirely cling to the bowl. Egg whites at the stiff peak stage will be glossy and very firm, will retain their shape and cling to the bowl. They will stand straight up from the overturned beater. Yet they will still be creamy and flexible enough to fold in with other ingredients.
- The shells or cookies may be stored in an airtight container in the coolest part of the kitchen for up to 3 days. Try our spin on this basic meringue recipe with Mocha Meringue Cookies.
- To make cookies from this recipe: Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1-inch round or star tip. Pipe cookies onto baking sheets about 1 ½ inches in diameter, about ½ inch apart. Bake until dry and crisp, 1½ to 2 hours. Turn off the oven and cool the meringues in the oven for at least 1 hour. Once they have completely cooled the shells should be very dry and light.
- To cover a pie with this meringue: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread the meringue over the top of the pie to the edges, making sure to cover the filling completely. Swirl the top of the meringue layer to form decorative peaks. Bake until the tips of the meringue are browned, about 10 minutes.