If you are concerned about salmonella poisoning, you can use pasteurized egg whites the next time you make meringue. This is also an option if the only egg whites you have on hand are the type that come in a carton, as these are already pasteurized. Using unpasteurized egg whites to make meringue should not be a concern in terms of safety if you will bake the meringue for at least 10 minutes in an oven of at least 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If this will not be the case, however, use pasteurized egg whites instead.
Things You'll Need
- Copper bowl
- Measuring spoons
- Cream of tartar
Remove your pasteurized egg whites from the refrigerator and allow them to warm to room temperature. Pasteurized egg whites do not tend to get fluffy as easily as the unpasteurized version, but allowing them to warm to room temperature will help to counteract this tendency toward heaviness.
Pour the egg whites into a copper bowl. This bowl must be absolutely clean and grease-free, as any oil or fat in the bowl will ruin the meringue. Copper will help make the egg whites fluffier, which is especially important for pasteurized egg whites. If you do not have a copper bowl, however, you can substitute a glass bowl.
Beat the egg whites slowly for approximately 1 minute. Add 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar per egg white to the bowl during this process. If you are beating 3 egg whites into meringue, for example, add 3/8 tsp. cream of tartar during this early part of the beating process.
Beat the egg whites at medium speed. Slowly add 1/6 to 1/3 cup of sugar per egg white, 1 tbsp. at a time, to the egg whites as you beat them. Use 1/6 cup for soft meringue up to 1/3 cup for hard meringue. Continue beating the egg whites until they reach your desired fluffiness. This may take a while; pasteurized egg whites take longer to reach their maximum fluffiness than unpasteurized eggs.
Tips & Warnings
- Despite all of your best efforts, beaten pasteurized egg whites may never reach the volume of unpasteurized egg whites. If you need a specific volume of meringue -- enough to cover a pie, for example -- consider using more egg whites than the recipe suggests to make sure you have enough.
- Photo Credit Meringue image by gÃ©raldine gemin from Fotolia.com