French Meringues are made from egg whites beaten with sugar and a little cream of tartar, salt or lemon juice to help them hold their shape. This process can take on many different uses depending on how you treat the meringue. You can flavor it with vanilla, peppermint or whatever you like. You can add food coloring ; and you can pipe it into any shape or flower or can drop it by teaspoonful into kiss shapes. You can use soft meringue to cover a pie and you can smooth it out into disks to form a Pavlova.
The color of your French Meringues is a personal preference. I love them to be stark white; so I bake them for less time in a low oven and let them finish drying out in a turned off oven. If you leave them in a low oven longer, they will turn somewhat tan. The taste is the same. It’s a matter of aesthetics.
Warning! Meringues are very sensitive to humidity. A rainy day will make your light as air crisp meringues turn into something sticky that will not melt in your mouth.
For Passover: replace cream of tartar with 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice or a pinch of salt.
By January 8, 2014Published:
- 60 Cookies
- 2 hrs 15 mins
- 6 Large Eggs whites only
- Pinch cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 Cups Super Fine Sugar
- Electric Mixer
- 2 Cookie Sheets
- Baking Parchment
- Pastry Bag and Tip Optional
- Put egg whites in bowl of mixer and allow to come to room temperature. Use yolks for another recipe.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Add small pinch of cream of tartar to whites. Using the whisk attachment of your mixer, start beating the whites on medium to high speed. As the whites begin to take shape, but are still quite droopy, add 1 cup of sugar while beating constantly. Beat for one or two minutes. As the mixture starts to become stiff and shiny, add remaining ½ cup sugar and continue to beat until meringue can form stiff peaks that retain their shape.
- Preheat oven to: 180° F.
- To form cookies: 1. Remove a teaspoonful of meringue from the bowl and push it on to the cookie sheet with another spoon. You will probably have a peak on top which you can leave or gently press down with your finger. Repeat process until mixing bowl is empty. You can place the meringues right next to one another as they do not spread while cooking. 2. Fill a pastry bag with meringue and attach the tip of your choice. Pipe cookies on to the cookie sheet.
- My personal preference is to have snow white meringues but their taste does not suffer if they look toasty. Bake meringues for about 90 minutes (take them out sooner if they start to take on color.) and then turn off the oven and leave them in the oven overnight. Carefully, remove meringues from cookie sheets and store in an air-tight container.