Years ago, I avoided recipes that called for meringue powder. I did not know what it was and had never seen it on the store shelves. So, any recipes involving meringue powder were a no-go for me. Meringue powder is now much easier to purchase both online and in stores. It is very useful for a variety of recipes, including meringue pie topping. Learn more about meringue powder and its place in the kitchen.
What is Meringue Powder
Dried, pasteurized egg whites are the primary ingredient in meringue powder. Ingredients vary by brand, but corn starch, sugar, gum, cream of tartar and artificial flavorings are common. The corn starch and flavorings give the meringue powder a subtle flavor that varies with the application. It is sometimes necessary to add additional flavorings to compensate.
How to Store Meringue Powder
As with baking powder, meringue powder’s paper canister is prone to picking up flavors if stored improperly. Store meringue powder in a dry area away from other foods, such as onions or spices, which release strong flavors or aromas. Also, be careful not to contaminate the canister with dirty or wet measuring spoons.
Where to Buy Meringue Powder
Meringue powder is available in craft and discount stores, such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Walmart. It is also available online from retailers such as King Arthur, Wilton and Amazon. It usually comes in small canisters or plastic tubs.
How to Use Meringue Powder
Meringue powder is a safe and effective alternative to raw egg whites in many recipes, such as bon bons and royal icing. Meringue powder also stabilizes homemade frosting and helps keep icing colors from weeping. It helps fluffy fillings hold their shape inside sandwich cakes.
Mixing a little meringue powder with water creates an egg white substitute suitable for making foods such as angel food cake and meringue topping for pies. According to the label on Wilton’s meringue powder, it is suitable as an egg white substitute in baking, but this has not been my experience. Substituting meringue powder for two of the three eggs required for a cake mix yielded a tasty cake with an odd texture.
Meringue powder is a versatile and useful cooking ingredient, but you may want to do a trial run before using it in recipes for special occasions.