How to make Italian meringue (and improve your sorbets)

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26 Responses

  1. Soh says:

    Very helpful post. Exactly what I was looking for to solve the raw egg white issue for my sorbet!How long will the frozen meringue keep in the freezer and can it be used in other recipes like chiffon cakes? I’m not sure how to use frozen meringue. Thanks in advance.

    • Anders says:

      Hi Soh,

      If stored in a dry and well-covered Way, the meringue will keep for quite a long time in the freezer (weeks rather than days). Eventually, however, you will notice that it starts to “shrink” (a consequence of the trapped air leaving – a slow but inevitable process, similar to what happens to ice creams left for too long in the freezer).

      Since I only use mine for ice cream-purposes, I can’t vouch for the other uses, but it would seem to me that you shuld be able to use it also in cakes etc.

      • Hi I use italian meringue for great texture mousses. Example: lemon mousse
        300 ml lemon juice + 50 gr sugar , 12 gr gelatin leaves ( or equivalent powdered gelatin), 600 gr italian meringue ( made with 180 gr egg white (3 medium egg whites) and 360 gr sugar. 500ml whipping cream, whipped. Dissolve softened gelatin in half or less of the lemon juice, heated with 50 gr sugar.
        Works divinely with: lime, orange, tangerine, mandarin. Haven’t tried grapefruit.
        Meringue can also be used as a base for a light chocolate mousse or berry / fruit mousse.
        Mousse recipe from Michel Roux
        Apologies for everything being in grams! i am Italian

        • Anders says:

          Hi Francesca, and thanks for the mousse contribution – clearly, one can have a lot of fun with Italian meringue 🙂

  2. Soh says:

    Thank you so much — i’ve just tried your recipe for the italian meringue. It took longer than 10 mins to get it stiffen, maybe it’s because i used a hand-held mixer. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Torroong Jarungidanan says:

    Thank you very much for your detailed instruction. This solved the raw egg white problem beautifully. I’m working with several tropical fruit home made sorbet. Today I made coconut milk with custard apple. With and without your meringue was significantly different. Thanks again.

  4. Jonny says:

    Thanks anders. Another great post. I bought an ice cream maker yesterday and I’ve found your website to be absolutely superb. So helpful!

    I’m about to make an italian meringue based earl grey and cucumber sorbet to accompany a smoked salmon starter. Do you think adding a little black pepper would have a detrimental effect on the consistency (maybe act ad a nucleation point for ice crystals)?

    • Anders says:

      Dear Jonny,
      Glad to hear you find the website helpful 🙂
      And to your question, no – I would be very surprised if a little black pepper would impact negatively on the consistency (with the flavours you have in mind, I would rather believe that it could add to the final attraction).

  5. Ian Lin says:

    Thank you for your detail step and it’s very useful for me.

    I got a little confuse about the step of making sorbet by machine.
    Should I mix the fruit juice & meringue together before pasteurization step?

    Thank again for everything.

    • Anders says:

      Dear lan Lin,

      You may find this post helpful: There, you will find a step-by-step description on how to actually make a sorbet with Italian meringue.

      As you will see there, the process of making the Italian meringue is separate from the one where you prepare the actual sorbet – prepare the meringue first. Then, make the sorbet (in which you then add the meringue)!

  6. Calvin says:

    Hi, thanks for your sharing. Could I reduce the amount of sugar for the Italian Meringue for about 1/2?

    • Anders says:

      You could certainly try – even if the meringue should be able to “hold together”, however, the result will not be as tasty. Whether the trade-off is worth it is a question best answered by yourself and your taste buds 🙂

  7. Leah says:

    I followed your recipe and it worked out great. I now have 3 portions of italian meringue in my freezer. When I make my next sorbet do I need to re-whip the italian meringue? or just de-frost and add it to the churning sorbet?

    • Anders says:

      Glad to hear it worked out so well for you! Next time, you only need to defrost the meringue a little and add it to the churning sorbet (no need to do any re-whipping).

  8. frances thompson says:

    When i make italian meringue I add a pinch of cream of tartar instead of lemon juice. Will this affect the sorbet? Also, can I add limoncello to the meringue and at what stage would I add it?

    • Anders says:

      Hi Frances,

      Yes, you can use cream of tartar (or some white vinegar) instead of lemon juice to stabilise the meringue: it should make no difference to the sorbet.

      I have not tried adding limoncello (or any other alcohols) directly to meringue myself, but would guess that it could be problematic: the added liquid would likely
      thin out, and possibly even destabilise, the meringue. That said, adding limoncello to a sorbet made with Italian meringue is a different matter – just be careful not to overdose so it will freeze properly: when it comes to frozen desserts with alcohol, less is usually better than more 😉

  9. arthur doherty says:

    Hi Anders,I wonder if you could help me as a boy in Scotland we had a local Italian ice cream seller named IZZI who sold gold medal winning ice cream Iam sure his ice cream contained egg whites .Instead of making a sorbet could I add cream to the recipe to make ice cream?

    Thank you Arthur

    • Anders says:

      Hi Arthur,

      Interesting – many ice cream makers tend to use only egg yolks in ice cream, purportedly because egg whites add too much liquid compared to the “binding” qualities they bring.

      That said, you can certainly try to include Italian meringue also in an ice cream recipe – even though the experience will be different, I think it could be very tasty. And who knows? You may even crack the secret of IZZI’s ice cream while experimenting. Best of luck!

  10. arthur doherty says:

    Thanks Anders I have experimented with egg whites and a meringue base almost there.

  11. When I lived in Florence, my favorite gelato was “meringue”, and it was creamy vanilla, sort of like a semifreddo, with bits of almost crunchy meringue scattered throughout. I have an ice cream maker – do you think it would work to just add bits of traditional broken up meringues to the vanilla mixture just at the end? I’m dying to try it. Also, a famous bakery/ice cream shop in Torino was well known for it’s rather large serving of a crisp meringue slathered in lightly sweetened whipped cream. Quite sweet but everyone loved it. I’ve served it here to Americans here in NY, and the unvarying response is, “Mmm delicious, but don’t you think a little chocolate sauce would make it better?” NO, NO!! is the answer. It’s the purity and whiteness of it that is so special; it is not am American sundae!

    • Anders says:

      Hi Laurel,
      Thanks for sharing – they know how to make good gelato in Florence, and I share your enthusiasm for “re-creating” favourite ice creams I come across 🙂 !

      The short answer to your question is “yes” – you can certainly blend in some broken up meringue (of the stiff type!) to your vanilla base.
      I have not (yet) made any “meringue-only” ice cream, but I did exactly that when making a a delicious lemon meringue ice-cream.
      As you point out yourself, the broken pieces should be added towards the end of the process to avoid excessive sogginess: you’ll also get a better result if you have pre-chilled your meringue before the actual churning.
      Best of luck in re-creating the meringue ice cream!

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