It’s impressive how two basic ingredients – egg whites and sugar – can produce such an elegant, simple, delicious dessert. But can you batch-prepare meringues and freeze them? And do they freeze well?
Can You Freeze Meringue?
Yes, you can freeze meringue for up to 10 months. To freeze meringues, freeze them on a baking tray, then once solid, transfer them to a freezer bag to store for the long term.
Does Meringue Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Meringue? No
How to Freeze Meringues
There are three types of meringue: French, Italian and Swiss. I’ve covered the method for freezing each of these below:
How to Freeze French Meringue
French meringues are the most common. It’s French meringues that make a pavlova or Eton mess. French meringues are crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle. But how do you freeze these meringues?
Time needed: 10 minutes
This is my preferred method for freezing meringues
- Flash Freeze
Once cooled, place the meringues onto a clean baking tray and cover with a layer of clingfilm. Place the baking tray in the freezer – try to keep it as level as possible.
After a few hours, check the meringues to see if they have frozen solid on the outside. If they have, remove the tray.
- Line Container
Grab a container and line the base with some greaseproof paper. Add as many meringues to the container as you can fit in one single layer.
- Cover and Repeat
Cover the first layer of meringues with further greaseproof paper and repeat.
Keep layering them up until you have all your meringues in the container. Tightly fit the lid and then wrap the box in clingfilm if you want to avoid other smells getting into the meringues and place in the freezer.
Freezing them in this way will make it easy to remove just one or two meringues from the freezer as and when you need them.
Just make sure you’re careful with how you handle them, as they will be quite brittle and will, therefore, break easily if you’re not careful.
How to Freeze Italian Meringue
Italian meringue is a little easier to freeze, but you don’t want to colour it. When using Italian meringue, you’ll often spoon it atop lemon meringue pies and tarts, then blowtorch to add colour.
Instead, make it up to the point where you would colour it and then follow the instructions:
You need to allow the meringue to cool to room temperature.
Spoon the mixture into bags. Once you have placed a portion into a bag, seal it up. You want to remove as much air from the bag as possible.
Finally, place it in the freezer.
You’ll then need to defrost it slowly overnight then use the meringue as you normally would. The other option, of course, is to freeze egg whites and then make the meringue fresh.
How to Freeze Swiss Meringue
Swiss meringues tend to sit between the two. They’re softer and denser than French meringues but are cooked in a similar way to Italian meringues. The method for freezing Swiss meringues is the same as French meringues.
Cool, flash freeze and then wrap if you have made individual Swiss meringues. If you have made a large Swiss meringue base, there will be no need to flash freeze. Just wrap it, so it’s airtight, place it into a bag and freeze.
Absolutely, you can use frozen egg whites for meringues! Just ensure they’re completely thawed in the refrigerator before you whip them. Just keep in mind that they might take a bit longer to reach stiff peaks compared to fresh egg whites.
How to Freeze Different Forms of Meringue
Meringues come in a lot of forms, as I’m sure you well know. Here are some of my favourite forms of meringue and how I freeze them.
When I have meringue kisses to freeze, I make sure they’ve completely cooled after baking. Then I gently place them in a freezer-safe container, layering them with parchment paper in between to prevent sticking.
My little trick here is to avoid packing them too tightly to maintain their shape. The one thing to be mindful of is that any moisture can make meringues go soft, so ensure they’re well-sealed.
For meringue cookies, the process is quite similar to kisses. Once they’re cool, I arrange them in a freezer-safe container with parchment paper separating the layers, and then off to the freezer.
Be sure to pack them loosely to keep their shape intact.
Remember, any moisture is the enemy of meringue, so ensure they’re well-sealed to maintain their texture.
To freeze a meringue roulade, I first let it cool completely. Once cooled, I wrap it tightly in cling film, followed by a layer of foil to protect it from absorbing any other odours in the freezer.
Freeze it on a baking sheet initially to help it hold its shape; then you can move it to a suitable space after it’s fully frozen. The main concern with freezing a roulade is it can get a bit delicate, so handle it with care!
Once meringue nests are cool after baking, I place them in a freezer-safe container, again using parchment paper between layers to prevent sticking.
My top tip is to consider the size of your nests and your container to avoid crushing them – they are delicate. You don’t want to put them in the container carefully but then find the lid crushes the top!
How Long Can You Freeze Meringue?
Homemade meringues can be kept in the freezer for about 1 month.
Generally, if the meringues have any odd smell or taste, you might want to toss them away. Until that happens, it doesn’t matter how much time has passed.
As for fresh, raw meringue batter, if sealed tightly right after mixing – you can keep it in the freezer for up to 10 months.
Uncooked meringue and meringue cooked with a sugar syrup will only last for 24 hours in the fridge. In contrast, French meringues will keep in the cupboard for around 2 weeks.
How Do You Defrost Meringue?
Place your meringues in the fridge to thaw out overnight. If you need this to happen a little quicker, then place them on your worktop where they’ll need 3 hours at room temperature.
If you want them warmed up, you can place them in the oven or enjoy them.
Defrosting meringues in the microwave isn’t recommended, as this could make them go soft or even start to cook, which would ruin their texture. It’s best to let them defrost naturally at room temperature.
Can You Refreeze Meringue?
Refreezing meringues is not something I advise. It can break down the meringues significantly, causing them to dry out and become excessively brittle. They’ll also lose their chewiness.
Instead, try only to defrost the amount you need at a time.
Does Meringue Freeze Well?
If properly stored and defrosted, you can’t really tell the difference between fresh and frozen meringue, especially if you freeze batter or re-heat your ready-frozen meringues.
The key is not to allow any excess moisture to come in contact with your meringue.
Place a small packet of uncooked rice or silica gel in the container with the meringues. These can help absorb any extra moisture, helping to keep the meringues nice and crisp while they’re stored in the freezer.
Freezing doesn’t ruin meringues, but it’s crucial to store them properly to prevent moisture absorption, which could make them lose their crispness.