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All About Meringue Powder

By Cook's Illustrated Published July 2010

What is meringue powder, and is it recommended?

Meringue powder is marketed for use in applications in which raw, unpasteurized egg whites may be undesirable and as a shelf-stable substitute for fresh egg whites in baking recipes. Besides dried, powdered pasteurized egg whites, it contains such additives as sugar, silicon dioxide (to prevent moisture absorption), cornstarch (to keep the mixture pourable), and citric acid and cream of tartar (for stabilization).

Following the instructions on the package, we rehydrated 2 teaspoons of meringue powder with 2 tablespoons of water as a replacement for each egg white and rounded up recipes to try it in: Pavlova (baked meringue cups), uncooked royal icing, and seven-minute frosting (cooked over a double boiler). Next we compared the results to the same recipes made with fresh egg whites. In all three cases, the powder fell short, yielding dense, grainy meringues, cloying royal icing, and thin frosting. We’ll pass on meringue powder.

SECOND-RATE SUBThis powder is no substitute for fresh egg whites.