French Meringue

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Yield: approximately

    5 quarts

Appears in

French meringue is best for baking au naturel, for piping into various shapes for cookies and dessert shells, for mixing with nuts, and for use as a cake base. If it is made and baked correctly, French meringue is tender, light, and fragile. It should be piped or spread immediately after whipping, or the egg whites may start to separate from the sugar. It should also be baked immediately after forming. This type of meringue should not be added to fillings that will be eaten raw, unless the meringue is made with pasteurized egg whites to guard against salmonella.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (480 ml) egg whites, at room temperature
  • 3 drops lemon juice or tartaric acid solution
  • 2 pounds (910 g) granulated sugar

Method

  1. In a copper or stainless steel bowl, whip the egg whites with the lemon juice or tartaric acid until the mixture has quadrupled in volume and has the consistency of a thick foam, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Still whipping at high speed, gradually add the sugar; this should take about 3 minutes. Continue to whip the meringue at high speed until stiff peaks form. Do not overwhip.
  3. Immediately pipe or spread the meringue into the desired shape.
  4. Bake at 210° to 220°F (99° to 104°C) until dry, or follow the instructions given in individual recipes.