Aging Egg Whites

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There are a lot of macaron recipes that call for aged egg whites ( including the one i will be posting soon) and you may be like I was and ask what the heck an aged egg is.

Well, aging egg whites basically means separating your egg whites and yolks, and storing your egg whites in a loosely covered container in a cool dry place for 24 – 48 hours. Thereafter you can put it in a fridge in an airtight container.

So why do you have to do this?

The reasoning behind it is to dehydrate the egg whites as much as possible. This causes the egg whites to lose elasticity and helps you gets a stiffer meringue and the right consistency of batter for the perfect macarons. Just remember, that if you have had the egg whites in the fridge, you need to take them out and let them come to room temperature before using them.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself that there must be a shortcut, because really, who has 2 days to wait for your egg whites to dehydrate when the macaron craving calls.

Luckily, there is! After a bit of research I found out that if you haven’t had time to leave your egg whites out to age you can pop them into the microwave for about 10 seconds. This mimics the aging process to a degree, but you have to be careful not to put them in for too long. You want dehydrated eggs, not cooked.

I’ve used this method more times than I can count and I have to say that my macarons have actually, on many occasions, turned out better than with just traditionally aged egg whites. There are also a lot of sites that say you don’t have to age your eggs at all. In the end it’s all up to you to try it out and see what works best for you.

So that’s the low down on aging eggs.

Happy Baking!

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8 thoughts on “Aging Egg Whites

  1. Emilie says:

    Thanks for the great tip! Is it possible to use egg whites that have been aged for 5 days? I put in some egg whites to age last week but haven’t had time to make macarons yet. Last time I made them they were hollow, so I’m trying my hardest to correct follow even step of my recipe perfectly.

    • Madame Macaron says:

      Hello Emilie. It is possible to use them as long as you’ve had them in the fridge. So, after leaving them out for 24-48hours you should have them in an airtight container in the fridge. The hollow shells may be due to there being too much air remaining in your mixture after mixing or that the shells were not fully baked before you removed them from the oven.

      I’ll be starting a new series of posts every Wednesday with macarons making tips so hopefully those will help as well.

      xx Vi

  2. Michael Tulloch says:

    Your quote: “….The reasoning behind it is to dehydrate the egg whites as much as possible. This adds elasticity to the egg whites and helps you gets a stiffer meringue ……” Why does Pierre Herme explain in his book MACARONS : ” It is best to prepare the egg whites several days in advance, preferably a week, so that they lose their elasticity.” . Confusing?

  3. Veronica Ortega says:

    Do I leave the eggs out on the counter for 24-48 hours then refrigerate or do I separate and immediately refrigerate for that amount of time? I’ve been on so many sites and none so far specify whether you leave them out to age or refrigerate to age. They just say aged eggs which doesn’t help much.

    • Madame Macaron says:

      Hi Veronica. You would separate the eggs and then leave the egg whites out for 24 – 48 hours, ensuring that it is lightly covered ( so no tight lids) to prevent anything from falling in. After this you can store the aged egg whites in an airtight container in the fridge if you are not using them immediately. Hope that clarifies for you.

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