Growing up we never really had meringue very often because something about the FL humidity messes with it actually forming. I am not a huge fan of pies with meringue on top but am learning to like it…must be because we always used cool whip since my mom gave up on making meringue. Spending summers in KY though my grandmother often had pies with meringue or these meringue shells. The shells are perfect to pair with summer fruits or ice cream. You probably see them sold in stores as meringue kisses but I think those taste like chalk sometimes…the homemade version is so much better and very easy.
I decided to make meringue shells and pair them with what I hope to be perfectly ripe peaches (I bought some at the store yesterday and they were too hard to eat so am waiting patiently). I often get made fun of because I have never eaten a peach by just biting into one. Kris thought it was the weirdest thing when he saw me peeling a peach for the first time. I’m not sure why you would want to eat peach skin when you don’t have to! I grew up with peaches being peeled, sliced, and then mixed with sugar and left to macerate. I love nothing more than that sugary peach juice that comes after an hour or so (same with strawberries).
A few meringue making tips before getting started:
- Make sure everything you use is completely dry – if any water gets into the meringue it won’t set up
- Don’t try to make it on a rainy day – it just won’t work
- If making meringue to top a pie instead of baking into shells, add a little marshmallow cream – a secret tip from my Aunt Edna
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Dash of salt
- 1 cup sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer add egg whites, vanilla, cream of tartar and salt. Beat with whip attachment until frothy.
- Gradually add in sugar as the mixer continues to whip egg whites.
- Beat until stiff peaks form.
- At this point you could either use meringue as a pie topping or make into meringue shells
- For the shells, line a baking sheet with a brown paper sack (not sure why, just do it)
- Scoop or pipe the meringue into circles. I used a piping bag with a large round tip, but think next time I will just dry scooping it out. Try to make a little dent in the middle so the shell can act as a little bowl to whatever fruit, ice cream, etc. That is where mine went wrong – I piped it like I would a cupcake and discovered it was harder to make the little middle dent. It won’t affect the flavor by any means, just the presentation. 🙂
- Bake at 275 for one hour. When the hour is up, turn the oven off and do not open the door. Let meringues sit in oven for 2 hours. Some say to leave them in overnight, but 2 hours should be sufficient.
- Remove and enjoy! You can store these in a ziploc or other airtight container for a few days.
- This made me 11 shells, but the recipe said it would yield 7 so I should make them bigger next time. 🙂 Don’t want to give anyone a smaller serving than desired!