How long do meringues last? This is one of those questions you’ve asked yourself at least once in your life. And you won’t believe what the answer is.
We’ve done some tests already. Our food chemists’ team helped us do the process of checking the shelf life of some foods and dishes. This time we bring you: merengues.
There are many recipes to make meringues, many preparations, and desserts that we can make with them. And surely you have wondered how long the meringue lasts. Well, is time for you to take some notes!
Meringue: A Cloud Sigh
As we know, meringues are a dense foam whose main ingredients are two: egg whites and sugar. The egg whites are mounted until it adopts a fluffy texture – or point of snow -, until it forms peaks. This foam is formed by beating the egg protein, called albumin.
Egg whites are 88% water. For instance, sugar likes water, so sugar molecules are surrounded by water molecules when you whisk them together. Preventing these gas bubbles from escaping.
The use of meringue is quite varied, it can be used to fill cakes or other baking products. It can also be baked giving it a soft or hard texture. But today, our protagonist is Hard Meringue.
When baked, you evaporate almost all the water, while the sugar remains in a light, aerated structure. Certainly, they are extremely easy to make but even easier to damage. So we must be very careful when making them, as well as learning the right way to store them.
Meringues are usually flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, lemon, etc. My favorites are always going to be vanilla and chocolate. But hey, all we need to do is get creative!
Continue reading to find out how long the meringue and baked meringues last.
Meringue’s Shelf Life
How long does meringue last? The first thing we must say is that a raw meringue will not last as long as a baked meringue. For the obvious reason that most of the water has evaporated.
Therefore, it’s very important to determine what kind of meringue we are talking about. For example:
- The raw meringue will last in the refrigerator for an average of 2 to 3 days.
- Italian meringue lasts in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, because the egg whites are cooked.
- And the dry or cooked meringue – which is also called bakery meringue -, are kept in perfect conditions for 1 year. They can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 weeks, in a container with a lid and kept away from direct sunlight.
We recommend you check the expiration date on the packaging in case you bought them.
How to Tell if Meringue is Bad, Rotten, or Spoiled?
Our senses are the most reliable instruments to help us know if food has gone bad or has been spoiled. Mold can sometimes appear if the food contains enough water. There are certain health risks associated with spoiled foods so make sure you always practice food safety.
With hard-baked meringues is seriously very hard to tell if they had been spoiled. After its shelf lifetime, you will have to taste it to make sure it still has the crispiness and sugary flavor. On the other hand, if you notice that its texture has changed, you will see that it’s chewy and its taste has become bitter or rancid, then let me tell you the meringues have expired.
Meringues should be stored in a tightly closed container or wrapped with plastic film – or Ziploc – to keep out air and other contaminants. They can be stored in the refrigerator, left on the counter, or even frozen if desired.
If you want them for a long-term option, make sure to let them cool down to room temperature before you get them into the freezer. This is actually the best method to store them, according to our Pastry Chefs.
However, to leave them in a container with a lid, in a dry place, and away from sunlight, is still perfect. The ideal room temperature for storing them is 23 degrees Celsius.
Here’s another tip; if you will like to preserve its taste, you can use an air-tight freezer-safe container! These containers were specially designed for freezers. They’re made out of Tritan material to help you see what’s inside. You can use one of these food storage containers.
Now, let’s pretend now that you’re in a hurry and you were not prepared with a food storage container. No problem, another thing that works perfectly for storing your meringues is plastic film. You can find this at any local store, bakery, or grocery store near to you.
Don’t tell me you don’t have any of these! Ok, let me give you two more tips and good news.
- Go to the grocery store to buy either a container or plastic film. You can leave your meringues there, on the counter.
- You can go ask your favorite neighbor for help, I’m sure she will have some plastic containers or film in the meantime.
And the good news is that you already know how long they last, so you have plenty of time to get prepared.
Read more about Can You Freeze Buttercream Frosting: Yes or No?
What about raw meringue?
Fresh meringue cannot be frozen, due to the sugar that this sweet contains, because it will melt. What makes conservation better in a dry place. Even so, if you have bought it, this may contain some conservatives, which will give it more margin of conservation.
Benefits of proper food storage
Proper food storage prevents the growth of microorganisms, as well as reducing the oxidation of fats that causes rancidity. Some other benefits are:
- Eating healthier
- Cutting food costs
- Helping the environment by avoiding waste – great for our zero waste lovers! –
As you may know, practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help you prevent foodborne illness. Remember, there’s nothing like enjoying your foods before their shelf life has expired!
Healthy advice: Please eat responsibly and share your meringues with your friends and family!
Read more about What Is Meringue Powder Used For?