Basic Brown Sugar Meringue

Basic Brown Sugar Meringue

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 18 mins
Total: 28 mins
Servings: 8 servings

This easy brown sugar meringue is made with brown sugar, egg whites, and vanilla, and it makes an excellent pie topping.

Making meringue is easy, but there are a few caveats. You'll find some helpful egg white and meringue tips below the recipe instructions.

This is an excellent meringue for a butterscotch or caramel pie or banana cream pie.

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (or lemon juice; see below)
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pie of your choice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 325 F.

    Basic Brown Sugar Meringue ingredients

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until frothy.

    beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until frothy with a hand mixer

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Gradually add the brown sugar and continue beating until stiff.

    brown sugar beat together with the egg whites mixture

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4. Add the vanilla and blend well.

    vanilla added to the egg and sugar mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. Pile the meringue onto a pie filling, spreading to the crust.

    Pile the meringue onto a crust

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the peaks are browned. Serve and enjoy.

    Basic Brown Sugar Meringue

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Tips

  • For best results, use eggs that are at least 3 days old.
  • If you don't have cream of tartar, use 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice. It's the acidity from the cream of tartar (or lemon juice) that helps keep the meringue from collapsing.
  • Humidity can have a negative impact on meringues, so try to make meringue on a dry day.
  • Make sure there is no egg yolk or fat in the egg whites before you begin to beat them and use a glass or stainless steel bowl. Copper is very good as well.
  • Even your fingers can leave a trace of oil in the whites, so don't touch them as you separate the eggs.
  • Cold eggs separate better, but the whites should come to room temperature before you begin beating them.
  • For a higher meringue, use 3 egg whites, 3/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar, 5 tablespoons of brown sugar, and about 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract.