Low carb meringues have been conquered! And not, as it turns out, by me. One of my lovely, faithful readers has taken it upon herself to perfect low carb meringues made with erythritol and wants me to share her success with you. Shannon has saved me a heap of effort and time by working on this, I can tell you. Do you remember my failed peppermint meringues? Oy. What a mess. Well, actually, they had a texture very reminiscent of marshmallow fluff and I’ve been wondering how I can work that angle to my favour. But that’s a task for another day (yeah, like I will ever get to that). I have actually tried my hand at low carb meringues a few times, with no real success. I had some that disappeared altogether and some that became dense globs of inedibility (not a word, but it will suffice for now). I knew it was possible, because I have seen low carb meringue recipes and even followed some of them. But every time I tried, it was utter failure.
Part of my problem may have been my sweetener. For the peppermint meringues, I attempted to use powdered xylitol and although they LOOKED fantastic, they never firmed up enough to be removed from the parchment even after hours of baking. You had to scrape them off with a spoon, which my kids actually did quite happily, because they tasted great. My other problem is likely the fact that I never wanted to just make plain meringues, I wanted something fancified (also not a word, but it will suffice for now). I added cocoa powder for chocolate meringues and deflated my entire batch of beaten egg whites. I added a peppermint extract that was made with oil and, again, deflated my egg whites. You get the picture. I sometimes focus so much on coming up with something NEW and DIFFERENT that I don’t just try my hand at the basics.
So. Shannon has done the work for me and I love her dearly for this. I tried them myself this afternoon, following her method almost to the letter, and they turned out fantastic. They are crisp on the outside while being a little moist and chewy on the inside. They do get a little browned on the tips, so I think I need to play around with oven temps and baking times. And unlike Shannon, I didn’t find that I needed to leave them in the oven for hours to crisp up. But these are very minor tweaks. It should be noted here that we both used Swerve for our sweetener and as Swerve contains a few things other than erythritol (oligosaccharides), I can’t guarantee the results with any other kind of sweetener. But this is a really, truly auspicious beginning. And I have a lot of ideas with which to use this recipe. I mean a LOT! So stay tuned, as you are sure to see many renditions of Shannon’s wonderful meringues on my blog.
Shannon is a photographer and has her own site, so I just wanted to direct you there so you can check her out! Shannon K Photography
Shannon’s Sugar-Free Meringues (Low Carb and Gluten-Free)
- Preheat oven to 250F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Arrange oven racks on second lowest and second highest positions.
- In clean glass or metal bowl, combine egg whites, erythritol, vanilla, cream of tartar and salt. Beat on medium high until medium stiff peaks form and mixture becomes somewhat glossy. Do not beat until stiff.
- Spoon or pipe mixture into 20 to 24 large meringues.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 250F. Then reduce oven temperature to 200F and continue to bake for another 18 to 20 minutes, until crisp and tips are just starting to brown.
- Turn off oven and let meringues it inside for 2 hours or longer.
- Remove and carefully peel off parchment.
Total carbs = negligible.