The Nigella Diaries – Things to do with egg whites part 1

Now that we’re into the sauces part of How To Eat there’s something that needs to be addressed before we go too much further – what to do with the leftover egg whites.

The hollandaise sauce and the forthcoming bearnaise sauce each use 3 yolks, while the mayonnaise uses 2. That’s a lot of egg whites I’m going to need to get creative about. Nigella, bless her little cotton socks, suggests freezing them in freezer bags – and helpfully reminds us that if we happen to forget to write on the bag how many yolks are within, a large frozen egg white weighs around 40g. There, pop that into the part of your brain that retains trivia like that. (For me it’s the section that also remembers song lyrics, boy bands and iconic TV advertising jingles.)

On the savoury front, while there are obviously egg-white omelettes to be made (yeah…nah), Chicken and Sweetcorn soup is a great way to use them (2 egg whites). One of my favourite party desserts – the Strawberry Cloud Cake – also uses 2 egg whites…along with a biscuit base, some strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. The love child of ice cream and mousse, it’s impressive, it’s pretty, it’s seriously easy to put together and, very importantly, it’s pink.

It’s also a piece of scientific mastery as these ingredients are whipped until they somehow become…


If you want to give this a try, you’ll find the recipe here

Of course there are other recipes too, but for now, we’ll turn to, as Nigella suggests we should, meringues. Again, she’s helpful – for every egg white use 60g of caster sugar. Easy peasy. From here it’s the usual palaver with meringue making – whisk the egg whites until the peaks hold their form, and gradually add the sugar, whisking as you go until it’s thick and glossy. You can pipe them onto a tray and make them look pretty, but I used 2 teaspoons and formed little freeform blobs. These are then cooked for around 40 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 140C.

I froze some of the meringues for another time and crushed about 8 to make a lemon meringue ice cream. Yes, you heard right. Although this isn’t really an ice-cream, it’s a Nigella shortcut to an ice-cream. You whip 300ml cream until it’s quite stiff, fold in 110g Greek yoghurt and 160g lemon curd (shop bought is perfectly fine), and the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Stir through the smashed up meringues and pop the lot into the freezer.

It’s one of those ice creams that you need to take out of the freezer and soften in the fridge for about 40 mins before you eat it, but when you do? It’s tangy, fresh and the occasional crunchy and soft meringuy bits are a welcome surprise.

We do have some other egg white treats coming up, but for now, I’d like to know, what do you do with egg whites? Are you for or against the egg white omelette?

lemon meringue ice-cream

I’ve taken on the challenge of cooking my way through Nigella Lawson’s How To Eat. You can find other episodes here.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

12 thoughts

  1. Egg white omelette sounds like total deprivation to me.
    Meringue is my go to for using egg whites, but I like the sound of the cloud cake.

  2. I’ve been using my leftover egg whites for breakfast sandwiches, breakfast scrambles and (hanging head in shame here) egg white spinach omelets. I know, I know! How can this be when they would be better put to use in pink fluffy desserts and meringue ice cream? I’ve now seen the light, and I believe!! 🙂

    1. Doing healthy things with egg whites, whilst joyless, is (sadly) sometime necessary. But doing things that make them pink, fluffy and lemon meringue pie in an ice cream? I’m glad you’re a believer 🙂

  3. I’m a meringue girl – it’s one of my Christmas treats for the family (I do the two spoon dollops like you) we have a few gluten intolerant people in the family so they are always a dessert winner for them. I do love the sound of your lemon icecream – it sounds like it’s within my mediocre baking range 🙂 See you soon!!

  4. I’ve seen the pink cloud cake on your posts before- but this is the year I’m finally going to make it! Thanks for the reminder Jo- looks too easy and delish and using up egg-whites- priceless!

  5. Excellent suggestions and that strawberry/egg white thingy looks so yummy & delicious! I am NOT an egg white omelette fan though – blergh! #TeamLovinLife

  6. I love a good egg white omelette and it’s always my dish of choice if I’m ever lucky enough to find myself at one of those fancy hotel omelette stations. Cooked right an egg white omelette can be spectacular. I use my left over yolks for creme patisserie but I’m still at the novice stage in the meringue/pav department but the freezing idea is genius! That lemon meringue ice cream sounds right up my Eat Street – I might have to give it a whirl!

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