Meringue is so easy to make. Whisk up some egg whites and add sugar, a touch of vinegar, and a little cornflour. You can make delicious desserts with meringue such as pavlova, meringue kisses, and lemon meringue pie.
However, can you make meringue in advance and freeze it for future use to save time when you have a dinner party or have had a long day at work? The simple answer is yes, you can, and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze meringue and how to defrost it (see also Is Freezing Pavlova A Good Idea?).
How To Freeze Meringue
There are three types of meringue; French, Italian, and Swiss.
How To Freeze French Meringue
French meringue is the one which is used for most desserts such as pavlova and Eton mess. They are chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. This is the way to freeze them:
1. Cool down the meringue.
You mustn’t put the meringue in the freezer while it is still warm as it will bring up the temperature and other food may defrost and spoil.
2. Flash freeze the meringue.
Divide the meringue into meal-size portions and place them on a baking tray covered in greaseproof paper. Make sure that the meringues aren’t touching each other so that they don’t stick together when they are put in a container. Put the baking tray in the freezer and freeze until solid. This should take a few hours.
3. Put the meringues in an airtight container.
Line the base with greaseproof paper and lay out the meringues in a single layer. If you have more meringues to freeze, put a sheet of greaseproof paper on top of the first layer and then put the meringues on top of the paper. Keep doing this until you have used up all the meringues. You can cover the container with a sheet of cling film to make the container extra airtight. If it isn’t airtight, freezer burn can occur which will ruin the taste and texture of the meringues. Put a label on the container with the date and contents.
4. Put the container in the freezer.
By freezing the meringues this way, you will be able to remove just as many as you need. Do be careful when handling them as they will be brittle and could crack. If you are using them in an Eton mess, it won’t matter but if you want the meringue for a pavlova, you won’t want it cracked.
How To Freeze Italian Meringue
Italian meringue is softer than French meringue and is used in such desserts as lemon meringue pie and tarts. You put the meringue on top of the pie and then torch it with a blowtorch to give it color and a little firmness. However, don’t torch it before freezing. This should be done when it is defrosted. It is easier to freeze Italian meringue than French meringue and this is the way to do it:
1. Cool down the meringue to room temperature.
2. Put the meringue in freezer bags.
Portion out the meringue into meal-size servings so that you only defrost as much as you need each time. Remove as much air as possible from the freezer bags to prevent freezer burn. Put labels on the bags with the date and contents.
3. Place the freezer bags in the freezer.
How To Freeze Swiss Meringue
Swiss meringues are denser than French meringues but they are made in a similar way to Italian meringues. However, when it comes to freezing them, follow the same instructions as for freezing French meringues, that is, cool them down, flash freeze, and put them in a container. If you are freezing the meringue in one large piece, you don’t need to flash freeze it. Just wrap it in cling film, put it in a freezer bag, squeeze out all the air so that freezer burn doesn’t occur, and freeze.
Tips For Freezing Meringues
- Make sure that your meringues are airtight to stop freezer burn from occurring. The same goes for moisture. Make sure that the meringues are dry otherwise they could become soggy.
- Be careful with the meringues and handle them gently as they can crack easily. This goes for when you are preparing them for freezing and when you are defrosting them.
- Because meringues are so delicate, you have the option of freezing egg whites instead and whisking up the meringues when you defrost them. You can freeze egg whites in a container or freezer bag.
For How Long Can You Freeze Meringues?
You can keep meringues in the freezer for around a month, sometimes even longer if the eggs are very fresh. However, eggs are sensitive to bacteria so if you think your meringues smell or taste strange, you are better off throwing them away.
You can freeze raw meringue batter instead of cooking it before freezing. In this case, you can keep the batter in the freezer for up to 10 months.
How Do You Defrost Meringues?
The best way to defrost meringues is slowly and steadily in the fridge overnight. This helps them to retain taste and texture and in addition, lessens the chance of bacteria developing. You can defrost them at room temperature but we recommend that you eat them immediately if you do this. If you want your meringues to be warm, you can heat them from frozen.
Can You Refreeze Meringues?
We don’t recommend that you refreeze meringues. Apart from encouraging bacteria to grow, it can make the meringues dry out and become brittle. They will likely fall apart. This is why it is a good idea to freeze your meringues in portions so that you only defrost what you need each time.
Is It A Good Idea To Freeze Meringues?
As long as you don’t allow air and moisture to get to your meringues while they are in the freezer, they will freeze well. It’s a great way to prepare ahead for when you don’t feel like making meringues from scratch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing meringues but in case you are still curious, we have answered a few questions here.
Meringue kisses are sweet and light. They have a thin melt-in-the-mouth outer shell with a soft and chewy marshmallow inside. They are great served with whipped cream. The good news is that you can freeze them. It is best to flash freeze them so that they don’t stick together and then bag them up, making sure that you squeeze out all the air from the freezer bags so that freezer burn doesn’t occur.
If you think that you will eat your meringues within a couple of weeks, you can keep them in the fridge rather than go through the process of freezing them. However, the uncooked meringue will only last for a day in the fridge so you will either have to bake the meringue and freeze it or freeze it as it is.
Yes, you can. Freeze them in an airtight container, stacking them in layers with greaseproof paper in between the layers. You can freeze them for a maximum of three months.
In case you don’t know, this is a vegan meringue made from the liquid in a can of chickpeas. It is surprisingly delicious and not that different from meringue made with egg whites. The good news is that you can freeze it in the same way as egg white meringue.
You can freeze meringue roulade. All you have to do is wrap it in cling film and then put it into a freezer bag. It can be frozen for between four and five months.