Julia Child's Genius Method For Storing Leftover Egg Whites

Egg whites are essential for a lot of recipes, but if you're making homemade ice cream, egg yolk ravioli, or anything that requires only the yolk, you'll be left with a ton of extra egg whites. While the obvious solution is to stash the leftovers in the fridge for another day, they usually go bad by the time you actually need them. As BBC goodfood shares, refrigerated egg whites only stay fresh for two days at most. Julia Child's method, however, allows you to store them for much longer.

In her cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1," the culinary icon shared (via Food52) that she freezes her leftover egg whites in muffin tins. Child starts by measuring out a fourth cup of egg whites — the approximate amount of two egg whites. She adds this to a muffin tin, and lets it freeze completely. Then, while still frozen, she removes all the now-solid egg whites and stores them in a separate container. With Child's method, not only will your egg whites stay fresh, they won't take up too much freezer space, and you can still use your muffin tin.

Nigella Lawson uses a similar method

Unsure about how well frozen egg whites will hold up in your next recipe? Nigella Lawson herself has put Julia Child's method to the test. The chef and cooking show host shared on her personal blog that egg whites that have been stored frozen work just as well as fresh ones in not only egg white omelets, but also in more complicated baked goods that require beating the egg whites to peaks, including meringues, pavlovas, mousses, and macaroons. For these recipes, the measurement of egg whites must be precise, so Lawson uses an ice cube tray instead of a muffin tin like Child, allowing her to freeze each egg white individually.

For best results, Lawson recommends thawing the egg whites by transferring them into the refrigerator and letting them sit overnight. In accordance with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s guidelines, Lawson also advises against using egg whites that have been frozen any longer than 12 months. Labeling your container with the date that you put it in the freezer will help, Lawson says.