Homemade Air Fryer Meringues

If you’re anything like me, you often find yourself with leftover egg whites after making rich, creamy dishes like mayonnaise or salad dressing. Rather than letting them go to waste, why not turn them into a delightful dessert that’s not only delicious but also incredibly versatile? Our homemade Air Fryer meringues are light, airy, and perfect for any occasion.

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The History of Meringue

Meringue has been a favourite in kitchens worldwide for centuries. And, whilst the exact origin of meringue is debated it became popular in the 17th century, particularly in France, where it was often served to royalty. Over time, meringue evolved into various forms, including the crisp, melt-in-your-mouth versions we know and love today.

The Perfect Solution for Leftover Egg Whites

When you’ve used egg yolks for mayonnaise, hollandaise, or a luscious custard you may be at a loss as to what to do with those leftover egg whites.  Rather than letting them languish in your fridge, why not transform them into beautiful meringue nests? This is a quick and easy way to avoid waste while creating a delightful treat.

Meringue Nests in the Air Fryer: A Step-by-Step Recipe

Making meringue nests in the air fryer is surprisingly simple. With just a few ingredients you can whip up these sweet, crunchy delights in no time.

Homemade Air Fryer Meringues

Recipe by Colleene Wink
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

Ingredients

  • 60 grams egg whites (from 2 large eggs)

  • 100 grams granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar – optional, but helps stabilise the meringue (see also notes for alternatives)

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract- optional but adds flavour

Directions

  • Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature as this helps them whip up better.
  • In a clean, dry bowl, start beating the egg whites on medium speed using a hand mixer or a stand mixer.  Believe me, your arm will thank you if you make the most of the electric mixer! Once the egg whites become frothy, add the cream of tartar (or listed alternatives if using).
  • Increase the speed to high and gradually add the sugar, about one tablespoon at a time. This ensures that the sugar dissolves properly and the meringue becomes glossy and stiff.
  • Continue beating until you achieve stiff peaks. This means when you lift the beaters, the peaks stand up straight without collapsing.
  • Gently fold in the vanilla extract if using.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 120°C.
  • Line the air fryer basket with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Using a spoon or a piping bag, shape the meringue into small nests on the lined basket. Make sure to leave some space between each nest.
  • Cook at 120°C for 30-40 minutes.  The meringues should be dry to the touch and easily lift off the parchment paper.
  • Once done, turn off the air fryer and let the meringue nests cool inside to avoid cracks from sudden temperature changes.
  • After cooling, gently remove the nests from the air fryer.  They are now ready to be filled with your choice of fillings, such as whipped cream, fruit, or curd.

Notes

  • If you do not have Cream of Tartar you can use any of the following as alternative stabilisers:
  • Lemon Juice or Vinegar: Both are acidic and can be used as substitutes for cream of tartar. Use about 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar for the 60 grams of egg whites (from 2 large eggs).
  • Cornstarch: This can help absorb moisture and stabilise the meringue. Use about 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt can also help stabilise the meringue, though it’s not as effective as an acid.
  • Gelatin: This is less common but can provide strong stabilisation. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin in 1 tablespoon of warm water and let it cool before adding to the egg whites.

Endless Dessert Possibilities

Meringue nests are incredibly versatile and can be the base for a variety of desserts:

  • Pavlova: Top the nests with whipped cream and a medley of fresh fruits like berries, kiwi, and passion fruit.
  • Lemon Meringue: Fill the nests with lemon curd for a zesty, tangy treat.
  • Chocolate Delight: Drizzle melted chocolate over the nests and sprinkle with nuts or coconut flakes.
  • Ice Cream Treats: Use the nests as bowls for scoops of your favourite ice cream, topped with chocolate sauce and sprinkles.

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.  So, next time you find yourself with extra egg whites, whip up some meringue nests in your air fryer – a quick, easy, and delicious solution that everyone will love. Enjoy experimenting with different toppings and flavours, and happy baking!

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