Egg whites, sugar, a pinch of cream of tartar or a dash of vinegar—and air. So simple, yet so divine!
Meringue isn’t just magical. It’s mysterious. No one can quite agree on its origins (and here’s a hint: it wasn’t invented in France). While most food historians confirm Marie Antoinette’s love of meringues, some say that meringue goes back to a much earlier date . . . and that it was invented in England, of all places. We know one thing for certain: meringue is deceptively simple, and once you know the basics, you can create sweet magic with meringue cookies, Pavlovas, pies, tarts—even marjolaines and dacquoises.
Meringue can be spooned onto pies or piped into any number of beautiful shapes. It can be baked or poached, whipped into silky frostings, or folded into cakes to make them fluffier. It can be combined with ground nuts, chocolate, or any number of flavorings. It can be formed into various vessels for Chantilly cream and fresh berries. And that’s just the beginning. Meringue will encourage and inspire you to create heavenly treats of your very own.
Linda K. Jackson is a senior advertising and marketing executive in the food and beverage industry. It is her sweet tooth and love for baking, however, that fuels her creative energy to spend time on the weekends making delightful meringue treats that ensure many a dinner invitation with the caveat, “You’ll bring dessert, right?” Linda lives in Studio City, California, with her husband and two children.
Jennifer Evans Gardner is a food, travel, and wedding writer for The LA Times, The Huffington Post, and other publications. She owns Little Feet in the Kitchen cooking school for children and is the author of Barefoot in the Kitchen: The Pregnancy Survival Cookbook and Bitchin’ in the Kitchen: The PMS Survival Cookbook. She lives in Los Angeles with her son and Boston terrier.