Making the perfect meringue requires a bit of time and attention to detail. It’s not too complex, though home chefs trying it for the first time can use all the help they can get. If you don’t have an electric whisk or stand mixer, you may be wondering can you make meringue in a blender?
In fact, you can! Blending meringue can be a useful shortcut for those who are feeling a little intimidated by the process. However, getting professional results means following each step carefully. That’s why we’ve made this comprehensive guide to help you make the perfect blended meringue from start to finish.
What is Meringue?
Meringue is a traditional European confection made from whipped egg whites and sugar. In France, it continues to be very popular and is often found sold and eaten on its own as a candy. In America, it is most commonly found as the light and fluffy topping to lemon meringue pie.
Depending on how it’s made, this treat can be soft and spoon-able or flaky and crunchy. A pavlova is a European dessert made of layered fruit, cream, and crunchy meringue.
There are three main types of meringue, each with its own country of origin:
- French meringue is probably the most common of the three and also the easiest to make. All it takes is sugar and egg whites, beaten until stiff peaks form. It’s the least stable of the three varieties, which is why it’s often baked to hold its shape.
- Swiss meringue takes a bit more effort than its French counterpart, though the basic recipe is the same. It’s made by heating sugar and egg whites in a double boiler until they reach 130 degrees and then beaten until stiff peaks form. The addition of heat to the recipe results in a softer but denser texture that’s great for buttercream.
- Italian meringue is probably the most technically difficult of the three. It involves heating a sugar syrup to 240 degrees which is then slowly drizzled into egg whites as they are beaten. This gently heats the egg whites as the syrup cools, resulting in a soft and creamy texture that’s great at holding its shape. It’s the perfect choice for decorating cookies.
Making Meringue in a Blender?
As you can see, some types of meringue require some real technical know-how to get right. Luckily, a blender can make the process easier than managing an electric whisk and a bowl. To start, we’ll take a look at a traditional French meringue which is as simple as it is delicious.
- Prepare Your Equipment and Ingredients
Making meringue isn’t a complicated process, but it’s one that needs to be done right. Setting out your equipment and ingredients ahead of time will ensure the rest of the process goes smoothly. Before starting, run through this checklist:
- Ensure your blender jar is spotlessly clean and dry
- Plug in your blender and set the jar in place, with the lid close at hand
- Set aside two medium-sized bowls, a whisk, and a silicone spatula
- Take four eggs out of the fridge, and let them come to room temperature (this should take nearly an hour)
- Measure out 2 ¼ cups sugar and a teaspoon of cream of tartar
- Measure out half a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract and set it aside in a small dish
- Separate Your Yolks and Whites
Now that all of your ingredients are ready to go, you can begin the first and most important step of making a French meringue: separating your eggs. This step is crucial because a mistake can mean the difference between stiff, foamy peaks and an overly soft and slouching final product.
The two mistakes you need to watch out for are mixing yolks or shells into your whites. Meringue is formed by creating thousands of tiny air bubbles in your egg whites. However, even a small amount of fat, like that found in egg yolks, can ruin this process and make it impossible to beat your whites properly. Shells are a problem for the obvious reason–nobody likes crunchy bits in their dessert.
To separate your whites, set your two bowls in front of you, crack your eggs one at a time, and crop them into your hands. By cradling the runny egg between two hands, you can allow the white to drip through while holding onto the yolk and keeping it intact. Put yolks in one bowl and whites in another.
- Mix in Ingredients
Now take the bowl containing your clean egg whites and drop its contents in your blender. Add in the sugar and cream of tartar and blend for 30 seconds to one minute, until the sugar has completely dissolved. You’re not looking for stiff peaks yet, but we’re almost there!
Now that all your preparation is done, you can finally begin whipping those egg whites. You’ll want to use your blender on the lowest setting to avoid over-whipping. Blend until the egg mixture begins to turn opaque. At this point, add in the vanilla and continue to blend.
Once it nears a thick consistency, begin to blend in 10-second pulses, scraping down the sides of your blender with a silicone spatula as you go. You know you’re done once you can dip your spatula in the mixture and stiff peaks form.
Other Ways to Make Meringue
The traditional way to make meringue is using an electric whisk. The advantage of a whisk is that it tends to be better at aerating the egg whites than a blender, using its wire design to give it an even and smooth consistency. You can find one on Amazon by clicking this link.
To make meringue with an electric whisk, simply follow the instructions above except in step 3, leave your egg whites in the bowl, and add the other ingredients as you whisk. Whisking this way will allow you to watch your egg whites more closely as they thicken, allowing you to get exactly the consistency you’re looking for.
A food processor is another option worth considering, but only if you don’t have access to an electric whisk or a blender. A food processor’s thick blades won’t be able to get exactly the consistency you’re looking for, and you’ll have to scrape down the sides constantly to make sure it’s blending smoothly.
No matter what method you use to make meringue, the basic process stays the same. Beat egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.
Once you know how to make it, meringue is a delicious treat that you can make in minutes. You’ll be surprised how versatile it is, and whether you’re baking it into bite-sized confections, using it as a pie topping, or making a buttercream, a blender can be a useful way to save a bit of time and hassle during the process.