An Alsatian bit Marietjie when she was only nine years old. A good friend of Marietjie’s mother brought a plate of homemade meringues as a get-well-soon gift and that is exactly what Marietjie did: Betty-June’s meringues were that good. Her meringue recipe stood the test of time, and become a firm favorite with our own daughter and her friends here in New Zealand.
The basic recipe is very simple, but robust enough to allow you to experiment with different kinds of sugar, or even a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract or rose water.
- 3 egg whites (use Jumbo or extra-large eggs)
- 4 tablespoons (60 ml) boiling water
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vinegar
- 2 cups (500 ml) castor sugar
- Preheat the oven to 90°C. Prepare the baking sheets by lining it with either foil or baking paper. (We use 3 baking sheets)
- Whip egg whites, boiling water and vinegar, preferably with an electric mixer, until foamy.
- Add sugar little by little, while continuing to whip at medium speed.
- Whip until the mixture becomes stiff and shines like satin.
- Pipe the meringue onto the prepared baking sheets, using a large star tip. For a more rustic look, also use a teaspoon to spoon blobs of the mixture onto the baking sheets.
- Place the meringues in the oven and dry them at a low temperature of around 90°C for at least 4 hours until the meringues are dry and can be removed from the baking sheets. Overnight in an even cooler oven works even better.
- Allow the meringues to cool completely before storing in an airtight container, at room temperature.