The first layer in the Italian Easter Pavlova dessert is the meringue. In this recipe I’ve used French meringue since it’s the easiest to make.
All you need are egg whites, granulated sugar, confectionery sugar and some lemon. You can find the exact measurements in the infographic below. Try not to stop beating the egg whites while adding the sugar and make sure you beat them enough so that they form stiff peaks but not too much that they start to lose volume.
FRENCH, SWISS AND ITALIAN MERINGUE
There are three types of Meringue: French, Swiss and Italian. The difference between the three is in the sugar.
French Meringue: As in the infographic, French Meringue uses granulated and confectionary sugar. Simple. It’s the most delicate which makes it the hardest to shape. I managed to get it into a sac a poche to make the spirals but by the time I got to the last few spirals, I didn’t even have to push the meringue through since it just fell out. It loses it’s strength quite fast.
Swiss Meringue: In this recipe, you have to beat the egg whites and sugar together then continue beating them over simmering water so that the sugar melts completely. Be sure to add the sugar from the beginning before putting your egg whites over heat or else you will just end up making scrambled egg whites. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, take it off the eat and keeping beating. The result is a dense meringue with not as much volume as the French meringue but a lot glossier.
Italian Meringue: This is considered the most durable meringue. In this recipe, the liquid sugar is heated to 120 degrees and beaten little be little together with the egg whites. Because of its strength, it is the best meringue to be used in ice cream desserts like Italian semifreddo.
I actually had no idea that there were different types of meringue. I learned about it at work (I sell Italian pastry and bakery machines) when an ice cream shop from Rome phoned in asking if we had stainless steel conveyor so he could add 120 degree liquid sugar while the mixer was beating his egg whites. I asked him what he was making and he said, Italian Meringue. ITALIAN meringue? I ended up interrogating him about his Italian meringue recipe that I almost forgot he had a problem to solve.
Go back to the Italian Easter Pavlova dessert