Basic Brown Sugar Meringue

Meringue
Meringue. Roger Stowell / Getty Images
  • 28 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 18 mins
  • Yield: 8 Servings
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This easy brown sugar meringue is made with brown sugar and egg whites and vanilla, and it makes an excellent pie topping.

Making meringue is easy, but there are a few caveats. You'll find some helpful egg white and meringue tips below the recipe instructions. 

This is an excellent meringue for a butterscotch or caramel pie or banana cream pie.

What You'll Need

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar  (or lemon juice; see below)
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

How to Make It

  1. In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until frothy.
  2. Gradually add the brown sugar and continue beating until stiff.
  3. Add the vanilla and blend well.
  4. Pile the meringue onto a pie filling, spreading to the crust.
  5. Bake at 325 F for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the peaks are browned..

Tips

  • For best results, use eggs that are at least 3 days old. 
  • If you don't have cream of tartar, use 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice. It's the acidity from the cream of tartar (or lemon juice) that helps keep the meringue from collapsing.
  • Humidity can have a negative impact on meringues, so try to make meringue on a dry day.
  • Make sure there is no egg yolk or fat in the egg whites before you begin to beat them, and use a glass or stainless steel bowl. Copper is very good as well.
  • Even your fingers can leave a trace of oil in the whites, so don't touch them as you separate the eggs.
  • Cold eggs separate better, but the whites should come to room temperature before you begin beating them.
  • For a higher meringue, use 3 egg whites, 3/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar, 5 tablespoons of brown sugar, and about 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract.