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How to Pasteurize Egg Whites For Meringues and Fruit Desserts

Some recipes such as chiffon pies, key lime pies, and fruit whips are made with raw egg whites. Now, if you're concerned about salmonella bacteria in raw eggs, you could substitute whipped cream or use pasteurized dried egg whites, which are available in cake decorating departments. But there's another option. Adapt your recipe with the Swiss meringue method.

Raspberry Lemon Pie

Raspberry Lemon Meringue Pie | Photo by lutzflcat

Here's the Swiss meringue method:

  1. Place the egg whites with at least 1/2 of the sugar called for in the recipe in a large bowl -- whisk a couple times.
  2. Place the bowl in a saucepan over (not in) barely simmering water.
  3. Beat the egg whites for 3 1/2 minutes (using a hand-held mixer or large whisk). They should be hot to the touch.
  4. Remove the bowl from the simmering water.
  5. With the mixer at medium speed, continue to beat until the egg whites cool to room temperature and increase slightly in volume, usually about 5 minutes or less. Do not overbeat.
  6. Fold the meringue into the other ingredients as directed in the recipe.
Pasteurizing Meringue

Photo by Meredith

How To Make Key Lime Pie Safely

  1. Heat the lime juice with the raw egg yolks in a pan on the stove, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F.
  2. Then combine it with the sweetened condensed milk and pour filling into baked pie crust. Top with meringue.
  3. Bake all meringue-topped pies at 350 degrees F for at least 15 minutes.

Simmer small poached meringues in liquid five minutes or until firm. Dry meringue shells are safe, as is divinity candy. See our Key Lime Pie Recipes.

Key Lime Pie VII

Key Lime Pie VII | Photo by Renee


See our complete collection of Meringue Dessert Recipes.


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