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Can Packaged Egg Whites Produce a Successful Meringue?

 Can you use egg whites from a cardboard carton to make meringue for a pie?

 You'd think so, wouldn't you, especially if you bought one of the products on the market that is only egg whites? There are lots of cardboard cartons on the market containing mostly egg whites, and you certainly wouldn't want to use those to make a meringue. But you also can't use – or are counseled against using – pure pasteurized egg whites.

The heat of pasteurization is very close to the temperature at which the whites begin to coagulate (cook), and the heat is enough to prevent them from foaming fully and developing a stable meringue.

All of the manufacturers we checked (well, three – Egg Whites International, and the makers of Egg Beaters and AllWhites) advise against using their egg-white-only products for making meringues (or angel food cakes).

The manufacturers of dehydrated egg whites, on the other hand, swear that you can whip up the best and most stable meringues with their reconstituted powders, which are also pasteurized.

The fact is, you can make some kind of meringue from either packaged liquid egg whites or dried egg whites, but neither is going to be as stable or full as one made from fresh eggs. Some people are willing to make that compromise; others will be disappointed. You might prefer meringue powder, which includes stabilizers that help create a fuller foam, but that involves another set of compromises….

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