Being an ordinary human, I know. I have wasted a mountain of egg whites only to get a sad, brownish goo, instead of the proudly upright, snowy white, air light, delicately crunchy delight. (Yes, crunchy all the way to the very centre, as meringues should be).
My advice is: don’t even try. Let others do it for you. And since the supermarket variety just doesn’t cut the mustard, you need to find a home industry outlet that sells these exquisite treats. (Yes, somewhere, somehow, some mysterious miracle-maker can produce the magic of the perfect meringue.) Buy a packet (do reign in your greed; one packet is enough). Hide it from the rest of your family, and enjoy your perfect meringues in secret. The reward is worth the guilt that will haunt you until the last crumb is devoured.
Every now and then, when the feeling of guilt is too much to bear, treat your family with this (really) easy-to-make desert:
- Mixing bowl
- Electric mixer
- 4 serving glasses or bowls
- Home-made meringues (as many as you can spare; 4 is the recommended quantity), crushed
- 250 g fresh fruit of your choice (strawberries, raspberries or bananas work best for me)
- 250 ml whipped cream
- 1 table spoon icing sugar
- Optional: maple syrup
Coarsely mash the fresh fruit in a bowl. Reserve several pieces for decoration.
Beat the cream and icing sugar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Place the meringue in four serving glasses. Spoon the fruit over them and top with the whipped cream. If desired, drizzle with a little maple syrup and decorate with whole berries of (if using bananas) banana slices.
PS: Your family need not know that your home-made meringues were not made by you. The choice is yours.
PPS: If you are, in spite of everything, bent on actually making the meringues, you’re on your own. Just remember to do it a few days prior to the crushing.