Nulaid Eggs are farm fresh and as eggs are the essential ingredient in meringues, they are perfect for this recipe.
Preheat the oven to 90 ºC. Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Now tip the egg whites into a large clean bowl (not plastic) and add the vanilla, if using.
Start to beat the egg whites on medium speed until the mixture forms firm little peaks. Increase the beater speed and start adding a dessertspoonful of caster sugar at a time. Beat a few seconds between each addition. It’s crucial to add the sugar in small increments as it will prevent the meringues from weeping later. However, be careful not to overbeat the mixture.
When the mixture becomes thick and glossy and ribbony stop beating: sift a third of the icing sugar over the mixture, then gently fold it in with a large metal spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to sift and fold in the icing sugar a third at a time. Don't over-mix.
Drop spoons full of the mixture onto the baking sheets, leaving room in between each meringue. Bake for 90 to 100 minutes in a conventional oven (75 minutes in a fan-forced convection oven) until the meringues sound crisp when lightly tapped and are pale golden in colour. A large meringue (Pavlova) would require longer baking time: between 100 and 120 minutes. And two or more large flat disks (Gateaux) would require less baking time: 80 - 90 minutes.
Once you're happy with the meringue colour and cripsness, you can either turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly, leaving it to cool in the trays, or place the meringues on a drying rack to cool.
There! Once they're completely cool, you can embellish and garnish and serve your meringue (s) any which way you fancy!
Makes about 36 smallish meringues, one large or 2 - 3 large flat disks
Older eggs beat better than fresh eggs. Don't make meringues on a rainy or humid day as they may flop. Don’t stop beating until you’re done with the recipe. If half-beaten egg whites rest, they become runny. The texture of meringues is determined by the amount of sugar: the less the sugar, the softer the meringues. For more fabulous egg recipes, click here