This is one of the first recipes I've ever learned since it's easy, doesn't require a lot of ingredients, and yummy to eat. For those who have problems with the meringue firming up, it's because it hasn't been beaten enough. Though for some people it may happen after 15 minutes, depending on what you use and what you put into the meringue, it can take even longer, I know mine went to around 20-30 minutes when I was making pavlova. You'll know when it's ready when it starts forming stiff peaks. If the 15 minute mark has passed and it's still soupy, keep beating. Over beating is probably better than under beating it. For a crisp outside, you actually don't need that much sugar. Halving the amount can also make a good meringue. It's also important to -not- have any of the yolk in the whites. Otherwise, they won't rise properly. The most important things in making meringues is 1. patience and 2. following all the steps.
If the meringues burn, then it's because you have the oven too hot or you made them too small. If they're too big, they'll crack as they cool. If the meringues come out soft, then it's probably because the sugar content is too low to form a crisp crust. If you find them tasteless, you can add flavoring, like vanilla extract or lemon zest.
I feel like most of the reasons why people gave bad reviews was because they aren't patient enough to wait until the egg whites become stiff and satiny (15 minutes +) or they had residual egg yolk in the whites.
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This is one of the first recipes I've ever learned since it's easy, doesn't require a lot of...