Meringues are easy to make. These fluffy and light sweet treats not only make perfect decorations for cakes and cupcakes but can also be used in the making of other desserts.
However, sometimes you whip too many egg whites and end up with lots of meringues.
Can you freeze meringue? Yes, you can freeze meringue. Whether it is baked French meringue cookies or meringue varieties that don’t require cooking, freezing is an option for all types. Prevent the contact of meringues with excess moisture and you will be able to extend their shelf life to several months.
This article is your guide to freezing meringue. From freezing ordinary meringue cookies to popular desserts with meringue, we’ve got it covered in this article.
Read on for step-by-step instructions for freezing meringue as well as tips for making the process more efficient.
What Is the Best Way to Store Meringue?
Meringue is traditionally made from stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar with the addition of a small amount of acid, such as lemon juice, for stability.
The mixture of whipped egg whites is then either baked or used as is depending on the particular meringue variation you are making.
Meringue is widely used as a topping for various desserts and baked goods. It can also be the main component of the desserts.
If you are even a little into baking, you probably know that there are different types of meringue. The most popular and widely baked variety is French meringue.
The best way to store these light and crispy meringues is to keep them at room temperature in an airtight container.
The airtight container will protect the meringues from humidity, keeping them airy and soft from the inside and crunchy on the outside.
So long as you store the container with meringues in a part of the kitchen where the temperature isn’t affected by heat sources and direct sunlight, the meringues will keep well for 2 to 3 weeks.
Can You Freeze Meringue?
If you have baked multiple batches of meringues and don’t know if you will manage to eat them all within a couple of weeks, freeze the meringues.
Freezing works well for meringues if you use a proper freezing technique.
Having frozen meringues in the fridge allows you to take out as many as you need for decorations or preparation of certain desserts as well as eating the meringues as is as a sweet snack.
Can You Freeze Meringue Cookies?
Meringue cookies are the same as ordinary baked French meringues. So, if you have leftovers from a meringue cookie recipe, you can freeze them following the same instructions below for freezing meringues.
How to Freeze Meringue
If you have baked too many meringues that you know you won’t be eating within a few days, then freezing them is certainly an option.
When freezing baked meringues, it is important to freeze the treats in a way that they don’t break and don’t lose their crispiness.
Here are the instructions for freezing the most common meringue variety – baked meringue also known as French meringue.
- Let the meringues cool down if they are freshly baked. To accelerate the process, place the warm meringues in a container and put it into the fridge uncovered.
- Choose a container with an airtight lid. Decide on the size of the container taking into account the number of meringues you need to freeze as well as their size.
- Start putting the meringues in the container creating the first layer.
- Follow the first layer of the meringues with a layer of parchment paper. Putting parchment paper in-between the meringue layers will prevent them from sticking to each other.
- Don’t press down on the meringues. Meringues are very fragile and can break easily if you apply pressure on the layers.
- Seal the container. Make sure the lid doesn’t touch the meringues and won’t crush them. It is always good to be on the safe side and leave some space between the last layer of meringues and the lid.
- Label the container with the date and store the meringues in the freezer. Eat the meringues within 1 to 3 months.
How to Defrost Meringue?
When it comes to defrosting meringue, the rule of thumb is transferring it from the freezer into the fridge and letting it come back to life gradually.
If you don’t have a lot of time to defrost meringue, let it thaw at room temperature. However, do not try to accelerate the thawing process by putting the whipped eggs under direct sunlight or near heat sources.
Some people prefer warming up French meringues before eating them. If this is the case for you, defrost and warm the meringues at the same time by placing them in the preheated oven for a few minutes.
It is important to prevent the meringues from absorbing water when they are defrosting as this will cause them to soften.
This is why you should thaw the meringue not in the container you have frozen them in but on a plate or, more preferably, on a rack.
How Does Freezing Affect Meringue?
Freezing does not affect the flavor or the texture of meringue if you use the proper freezing and defrosting technique.
If you freeze the meringue in an airtight bag or container and prevent its contact with moisture, the texture changes will be minimal.
Even if the uncooked meringue separates after defrosting, you can easily solve the problem by mixing it for a few minutes.
As for French meringue, telling the difference between freshly baked and defrosted and reheated meringue is nearly impossible.
To avoid flavor changes of the meringue, don’t let it sit in the freezer for too many months as the flavor does deteriorate with time.
Keeping the whipped egg whites in an airtight container is another important step as the meringue will absorb odors from the freezer if the container is loosely covered.
Tips for Freezing Meringue
Here are a few tips if you are thinking of freezing your next batch of meringues.
Freeze When It’s Fresh
No matter what type of meringue you are freezing, it is always better to freeze it when it is fresh.
The fresher the meringue is when you first freeze it, the longer and better it will keep in the freezer.
Don’t Freeze the Meringues in Bags
You may be tempted to flash freeze the leftover meringue cookies and put them all in a zipper bag to save space in the freezer.
While this may be a space-efficient storage technique, the meringues will get crushed. Either that or you’ll have to constantly move the bag with meringues to the very top of all items in the freezer which is not very convenient.
Freezing meringues in a hard-sided container that will protect them is always a better choice.
Freeze Egg Whites
The main ingredient you need to make any meringue variety is egg whites. Thus, aside from freezing meringues, you can also try freezing egg whites.
Whenever you decide to make meringues, just pull out the frozen egg whites, let them thaw, and whip them as you would normally when making meringues.
Can You Refreeze Meringue?
Refreezing meringue is not something you should do.
In the case of baked meringues, refreezing will make them brittle and overly dry. As for unbaked meringue, refreezing will heavily affect the consistency.
Can You Freeze Meringue Before Baking?
Freezing French meringue before baking is not something we recommend you do as the mixture of whipped egg whites is not stable.
Unbaked French meringue stored in the freezer will suffer major changes once you defrost it and may not be suitable for further baking.
Swiss and Italian Meringue – Can You Freeze Them?
Made with only a few simple ingredients, there are still multiple variations of meringue. While these meringue varieties are all made with egg whites and sugar, the technique used for each of them is different.
There are three popular meringue varieties – Swiss meringue, Italian meringue, and French meringue.
The latter is a meringue variety we have covered in this article. It is egg whites whipped with sugar until it reaches stiff peaks.
French meringue is the variety that always needs to be baked as opposed to Swiss and Italian meringue. If not baked, French meringue should be added to batters to give them lightness.
Swiss meringue is made by heating the egg whites and granulated sugar to around 160 degrees.
You should make sure to blend the mixture thoroughly to make sure the sugar is all incorporated. The egg whites and sugar mixture are then mixed until it cools down to room temperature.
You then need to whip the egg whites until you see peaks forming. One of the main differences of Swiss meringue is that while whipping the mixture you need to add pieces of butter to the beaten egg whites piece by piece.
The result should be a silky smooth mixture that is perfect for topping desserts and baked goods.
To make Italian meringue, you’ll need to make some hot sugar syrup. You should whip egg whites to stiff peaks. And as soon as you reach the desired consistency, start adding the syrup that has been heated to 240 degrees.
For perfect Italian meringue, you need to keep whipping the mixture until it has cooled to room temperature.
Italian meringue is the most stable of the meringue varieties and it doesn’t require baking. It is good for recipes that don’t need the meringue to be cooked or need it only to be torched.
Can You Freeze Italian Meringue?
Just like Swiss meringue, you can freeze Italian meringue too. In fact, if you have leftover Italian meringue, bakers recommend storing it in the freezer rather than in the fridge.
Storing meringue in the fridge often causes the whipped egg whites to ‘weep’. The weeping of the meringue is when it starts to release water droplets.
Weeping is a common issue for uncooked meringue variations. Your meringue may also start to ‘weep’ after a few days in the fridge if it contains too much moisture.
Here are step-by-step instructions for freezing Italian meringue.
- Allow the meringue to cool down.
- Divide the meringue into smaller portions.
- Spoon the mixture into heavy-duty zip-top bags.
- Push the excess air out of the bag and freeze it.
- Put the bags with the Italian meringue in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Swiss Meringue?
Swiss meringue will last around 2 days if you leave it at room temperature away from sunlight and heat sources. Storing it in the fridge will extend the shelf life of the Swiss meringue to 5 days.
But luckily, Swiss meringue freezes quite well. Freeze it the same way you would freeze Italian meringue. Both Italian and Swiss meringue varieties can last up to 10 months in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Meringue Frosting?
Meringue frosting is essentially whipped egg whites with sugar. This fluffy topping is an easy way to make cakes and cupcakes look beautiful as well as taste better. But what if you have leftover meringue frosting? Can you freeze it?
We don’t recommend freezing meringue frosting as the mixture is not stable enough to withstand the freezing and thawing processes.
Meringue frosting is best used when it is freshly made. Baked goods topped with meringue frosting can be refrigerated for a couple of days.
Can You Freeze Meringue Roulade?
You can freeze the meringue roulade once it is ready. While you should chill the dessert for a few hours before serving it, freezing it is also an option. But before you put the roulade in the freezer, make sure to wrap it properly.
Wrap the roulade with a layer of wax or baking paper. Then wrap the meringue roulade with cling wrap to prevent it from getting a freezer burn as well as absorbing odors.
Once you have wrapped the roulade, place it somewhere in the freezer where the roulade won’t crush.
Before you serve the roulade, take it out of the freezer and let it defrost for 2 hours at room temperature.
Can You Freeze a Meringue Pie?
Unlike meringue roulade, freezing a meringue pie is not something we recommend you do.
Meringue pies, such as the widely popular lemon meringue pie, don’t freeze well as the top meringue later suffers major changes after the freezing and thawing processes.
Due to the egg whites in the meringue, the top layer of the pie is not stable. Thus, it is best to freeze everything but the meringue layer of the pie.
Even if you have a store-bought meringue pie, remove the meringue layer with a knife and only then freeze it.
Making meringue to top the defrosted pie will take you only a couple of minutes. However, it will make the dessert look and taste fresh.
Can You Freeze Pavlova with Meringue?
Pavlova is one of the most popular desserts you can make with meringues. It is easy to put together if you already have components ready at hand. Still, Pavlova is an exquisite-looking dessert that is the perfect ending for any dinner.
Freezing a fully-assembled pavlova is not something we recommend you do as the dessert won’t look presentable after you defrost it.
If you want to save time and prepare components of the dessert a few days ahead of time, freeze the berries, meringue, and cream separately. Thaw all ingredients separately and assemble the dessert before serving.
If the cream you are using for your pavlova dessert doesn’t freeze well, make it before assembling the dessert while saving time on the meringues by making them in advance.
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