Meringue - Brown or Browning Techniques

The soft type of meringue, or beaten egg whites with sugar, is normally used as a topping for Baked Alaska, for pies such as the infamous Lemon Meringue Pie or for cakes. This type of meringue is often browned, which results in a crispy browned meringue on top and a soft and chewy underneath. Browning also highlights designs made with the meringue.

There are two ways you can brown meringue. You can use a hand-held torch, or you can brown the finished recipe in the oven, by baking or using the broiler. The torch is more fun and perhaps easier for some, but, in my opinion, the oven browning does a superior job; the meringue comes out warmer, and more crisp...with a taste much like a toasted marshmallow. 

How to Brown Meringue with a Kitchen Torch
Mini Baked Alaskas Recipe
Used with the Mini Baked Alaskas Recipe
1. Place the frozen Baked Alaska on a serving plate and, using a hand-held torch, brown the meringue by moving the torch in a circular pattern, until you see the meringue starting to brown.

2. Do this until the whole surface of the meringue is browned.
Do not leave the torch in one place for too long, or the meringue will burn.

When browning a cake covered in meringue, such as the Cuatro Leches Vanilla Mantecado Cake Recipe, use the same procedure.

How to Brown Meringue in the Oven 
1. Twenty minutes before you plan to serve dessert, position the oven shelf to the middle and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place the recipe in the oven and bake till meringue is nicely browned.
This may take anywhere from 10 - 12 minutes, depending on your oven.

How to Brown Meringue in the Oven's Broiler

Used with the Luscious Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe. This is a mile-high lemon meringue pie. There is A LOT of meringue, as there should be, in my opinion.

1. Position the oven shelf to the upper rung, one below the top one. Preheat the broiler.

2. After the meringue is sealed to the edges, just pile it on, creating decorative swirls and peaks with the back of a large spoon. All the little peaks you create will be more brown than the surrounding area, making the pie more beautiful, when baked.

3. Broil until browned on the tips, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

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