Tim Tam cookies are the star of this oh-so Australian Pavlova. Farideh Sadeghin
Whether your tendency as a cook leans more towards zabaglione, Hollandaise, or salt-cured yolks—or all three—there’s a good chance you’ve found yourself with a few extra egg whites in the ice box at one point or another. And while there’s a time and a place for a virtuous egg white omelette (Pro tip: Go heavy-handed with the heavy cream), there’s no reason to restrict those eggy underdogs to the breakfast table.
Egg whites require little more than a scoop of sugar to whip up into a bouffant of fluffy meringue. On its own, the substance is a purely magical thing. Piled high atop a layer of puckery lemon curd—or folded right into fruity custard for an ethereal chiffon—sweet meringue is a source of levity on dessert menus dominated by heavier confections. When wrapped around ice cream for baked Alaska, set aflame tableside, meringue lends a retro, all-too-lacking note of dining room drama.
Meringue is also the base for luxurious Swiss and Italian buttercreams—among the most elegant ways to coat a cake—as well as the dessert world’s photogenic Instagram darling, the Pavlova. It’s the “îles” in îles flotant (and the “oeufs” in oeufs à la neige). Some even consider it the fluffy crown of shaken, egg-white cocktails like New Orleans’ Ramos gin fizz. However you whip (or shake) them, egg whites are a valuable ingredient, worth saving for any one of these, our very best meringue recipes.