This Is The Best Method For Storing Meringues

There is nothing more impressive than a meringue. Appealing both to the eye and the palate, the magic of a crisp, made-from-scratch meringue is that it melts into a sugary whisper as soon as it meets your mouth. Regardless of whether you whip up a fluffy French-style meringue, a stiff Italian version, or a smooth Swiss meringue, these treats are equally delicate, and by extension, quite fragile. As a result, mastering the art of storing meringues is just as essential as perfecting your recipe. Luckily, we're breaking down the do's and don'ts of meringue storage.

Meringues are essentially a whimsical concoction of whipped egg whites stabilized with sugar and heat. However, it's exactly these ingredients that make meringues susceptible to softening (and even weeping) as they contain hygroscopic components that are prone to absorbing moisture in the air. Given this super sensitivity to humidity, it's no wonder that many bakers avoid making meringues on rainy days or urge against leaving them out on the counter for too long. It's also why proper storage is a must so that meringues remain as light as a feather.

The good news is that the best way to store meringues isn't that complicated. Maintaining quality is only a matter of placing treats into an airtight container and keeping them at room temperature with a packet of silica gel — yes, the same silica gel that you find at the bottom of a new handbag or tucked into packs of seaweed snacks.

The science behind silica

A single packet of silica gel is enough to keep a container of meringues from prematurely turning chewy and soft. A desiccant, the gel draws in any water vapor that would otherwise be absorbed by the meringues, attracting molecules toward its surface area. While the non-toxic beads aren't likely to do much harm, we recommend leaving the packets intact as there's no reason to directly mix them with meringues.

To ensure that silica gel works effectively, always make it a goal to follow proper storage protocol. Along with waiting for meringues to fully cool before adding them to an airtight container, avoid overlapping them. Likewise, be mindful to keep the container of goodies away from direct sunlight as this can cause temperature fluctuations and potentially encourage moisture to form inside the Tupperware. Of course, bear in mind that meringue-adjacent treats like a fruit-topped pavlova or an awe-inspiring Baked Alaska might need to be handled differently, potentially wrapped and placed somewhere cooler.

Although taking the right steps to store meringues will extend their shelf life, nothing lasts forever — even if you did include a packet of food-grade silica gel in the container. Generally, meringues will last for a couple of weeks when kept accordingly. But, because they're so delicious, we doubt that homemade meringues will be left to linger for long.