Meringue is an extremely useful ingredient.
|¼ tsp||cream of tartar|
|vanilla and/or almond extract|
Beat egg whites into stiff peaks with cream of tartar. Fold in flavoring and sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. This can be done with a machine on lowest speed, but hand folding is recommended.
Dried meringue is used in desserts (see recipe for Baked Alaska). Cover a cookie sheet with a clean, brown paper bag cut out flat, painted side down. Spread meringue out evenly and place in oven on 250° for several hours until golden brown and completely dry (down inside where the sugar has melted out and carmelized will remain a bit gooey for longer still). Break off bits and crush with hands or ic colling pin. Store in a plastic container. Layer ice cream with meringue dust to make a tasty dessert. Meringue dust can also be sprinkled on top of fruit desserts like the peach melba.
The above recipe is just the right amount for piping an entire baked Alaska. It is a bit more than necessary for a nine-inch lemon meringue pie. Spread (or, for a more artistic effect, pipe) meringue out on dessert before baking.
Cream of tartar is an acid salt, potassium hydrogenate tartrate, that increases the heat tolerance and volume of egg whites when beaten.