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Fresh Living Network
Mini meringues

Mini meringues

Ina Paarman's foolproof recipe.
RECIPE TYPE:Baked goods
  • Set the oven at 120°C and line a large oven tray with baking paper. Fit a 37cm long piping bag with a big plain nozzle and stand it in a jug. Do not use a plastic mixing bowl. Glass, copper or stainless steel is best. Wipe the bowl out with the cut side of the lemon and then dry it with clean kitchen paper. Rinse the beaters in boiling water to make sure there is not a speck of grease on them.
  • Crack eggs, at room temperature, one by one in a separate bowl, and if the yolk should break and spill into the white, discard and start again
  • Stand the bowl on a dishcloth. Beat the egg whites just until bubbles form. Add the lemon juice to the egg whites and beat vigorously on high speed while turning the bowl with one hand.
  • When the whites form peaks and the points of the peaks stand up and just fold over when you lift the beaters, you can start adding the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time. Do not add the sugar too soon. Wait until the whites are really stiffly beaten. Continue beating and adding the sugar slowly until the mixture becomes very thick, heavy and shiny.
  • Rub a little of the mixture between two fingers. If you can feel sugar granules you need to beat a little longer. Use a spoon or sturdy scraper to transfer the meringue to the bag. Make sure all the sugar is dissolved or the meringues will weep sugar tears when they are baked. We use caster sugar because the crystals are smaller.
  • Glue the corners of the baking paper to the pan with a little of the meringue mixture. Pipe the meringues on to the paper and bake straight away. Bake for 2 hours then switch off the oven. Leave them in the oven with the door closed to cool completely. Layer into an airtight container.

Watch points:

  • Shape and bake the meringues immediately, they will start to deflate and draw water as soon as you stop beating
  • Baking meringues is actually more a process of drying them out. So the rule is a low oven temperature for a long time.
  • Home-made meringues will turn an ivory or pale champagne colour. The slight caramelisation of the sugar increases the flavour.
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