la meringue italienne te la meringue française

Meringue Recipes


Meringue is a classic device of French pastry, based on beaten egg whites and sugar.

There are 3 types of pastry meringue: French meringue, Italian meringue and Swiss meringue, and all 3 are intended for different uses, in particular for making pavlova, parfaits, soufflés, dacquoises, for meringue pies or entremets, or simply to decorate desserts.


The Different Types of Meringues

The French Meringue:

The most classic and the easiest to use. It is made by whipping egg whites to which almost double the sugar is added. Traditionally, 2 kinds of sugar are added in more or less equal quantities: powdered sugar and icing sugar.

The Italian Meringue:

Much appreciated by pastry chefs, this meringue is the mixture of boiled sugar poured over beaten or sparkling egg whites. It is generally used to lighten creams, as well as to mask and decorate pies and desserts.

The Swiss Meringue:

It is prepared by whipping egg whites with twice as much sugar added in a double boiler.


The Recipe for 3 Meringues

french meringue

The French Meringue :

Preparation 10 mins

For 300g of French Meringue:

  • 100g egg whites
  • 100g of sugar
  • 100g icing sugar

In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy

Gradually add the sugar, continuing to whisk until the whites are smooth and glossy, and peaks form at the end of the whisk

Gently fold in the icing sugar with a spatula or rubber spatula.

italian meringue

The Italian Meringue :

Preparation 15 mins

For 350g of Italian Meringue:

  • 100g egg whites
  • 200g of sugar
  • 8cl of water

Make a syrup by heating the water and sugar in a saucepan until the temperature reaches 119°C. on the cooking thermometer. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until fluffy.

When the temperature of the syrup reaches 119°C. pour it immediately over the egg whites while continuing to whisk.

Whisk vigorously until the meringue is completely cold. It should be firm and form peaks at the end of the whisk.

swiss meringue

The Swiss Meringue :

Preparation 15 mins

For 300g of Swiss Meringue:

  • 100g egg whites
  • 200g of sugar

Whisk the egg whites and the sugar in a bowl over a bain-marie until the temperature reaches 45°C. on the cooking thermometer.

As soon as the temperature reaches 45°C. remove from the bain-marie and whisk briskly until the meringue is completely cold. It should be firm and form peaks at the end of the whisk.

lemon meringue pie

Why our Favorite Meringue is “The Italian Meringue”

Grail of the amateur pastry chef, this meringue impresses because it requires the use of a sugar thermometer in order to reach the famous 119°C (or the old fashioned way by throwing a spoon of boiled sugar into cold water to see s it is brittle or not)

Let's face it, the successful Italian meringue is a bit like the empress of mousses: dense, unctuous to die for, white as snow and remarkably resistant.

It still requires a little technique and coordination, because you have to pour the cooked sugar at the right time. In addition, a stand mixer is almost essential for the good success of the expansion of the Italian meringue (about 20 min to bring the meringue back down to temperature). Granny's little drummer will have given up the ghost before!

If it is singled out today for the discharge of sugar that it brings to desserts, we must recognize its unique texture and its sublime, inimitable Italian look.

meringue desserts

All these meringues can be flavored by adding other ingredients such as chocolate or coffee to make a meringue tiramisu, coulis or fruit purees for making lemon tart or gourmet strawberry tart.

Some pastry chefs add mascarpone to obtain a creamier consistency for making the Merveilleux cake, which is both soft and crunchy. Like the Pavlova, this cake allows an infinite combination of delicacies with the meringue; speculoos, caramel, praline, chocolate, etc...

Not to mention the timeless macaroons available in all flavors (raspberries, pears, mangos, apricots, bananas, blueberries, apples, cherries) and other more original flavors (ginger, pepper, rose, yuzu, cinnamon).

These delicious and original recipe ideas will revive your taste buds from the usual cupcakes, chocolate muffins or red fruit crumble.

meringue macaroons

The meringue can therefore be the basis of many desserts. Unfortunately, a long line of home cooks have found themselves frustrated with soft, chewy, or deflated meringues.

Next time you make one for lemon meringue pie or pavlova, avoid these common mistakes and you're guaranteed to come out with a nice, impressive, firm, shiny meringue.

Tips for Successful Meringue

Tip #1 : Use old eggs

Freshness is not always better. Older eggs actually produce firmer, taller meringues. A simple trick to age test your eggs is to gently place an uncracked egg in a glass of water. If it stands on its end, it will be perfect for meringue. If it floats, it's actually too old - throw it away. If it lies on its side at the bottom, it is very cool.

Tip #2 : Bring the eggs to room temperature

Separate the whites from the yolks as soon as the eggs come out of the fridge. Then let the whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before beating them. This will help you whip your eggs until they reach a lofty height.

Alsatian meringue cake

Tip #3 : Use a clean bowl

For more volume, place the whites in a small, clean stainless steel or glass bowl. Even a drop of grease from egg yolk or oil — or the film of grease sometimes found on plastic bowls — will prevent egg whites from foaming. But there's no need to throw away a batch of whites because a mere trace of oil or egg yolk got in there. So be sure to also use clean beaters to get pristine whites.

Tip #4 : Don't Forget the Secret Ingredient

For the strongest, most stable meringue, add 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar to each egg white before beating. It is an acid that stabilizes the egg white. If you don't have it on hand, use ½ tsp. lemon juice for each egg white. (If you have a copper coated bowl it will produce the same effect).

Cream of tartar is a natural product that naturally deposits on the edges of barrels for wine making.

dessert meringue cakes

Tip #5 : Take your time

While beating, do not rush to add the sugar. The slower you add your sugar, the better it will dissolve into the whipped whites. We recommend pouring 1 tablespoon at once. This will help you achieve a silky smooth texture rather than a grainy one.

However for the French meringue it is necessary to avoid beating the egg whites too long to avoid draining the eggs. Otherwise the texture will not be homogeneous and smooth but slightly grainy and you will have to start all over again (no grandmother's trick known to date)

Tip #6 : Consider the weather

It is best to make meringues in dry weather. On humid or rainy days, they can absorb moisture and become soft or sticky.

Tip #7 : Release the Pressure

If you've done everything right and avoided all the pitfalls outlined above, the last thing you want to do is deflate your meringue by squeezing the piping bag too tightly. Press gently and leave a space between the end of the bag and the silicone mat or baking sheet, so that the meringue is not pressed against the baking sheet.

marvelous meringue yann roofer

Common Problems When Cooking Meringues

There is an art and a science to making perfect meringues.
Let's look at the problems and their solutions.

Pearling is the formation of droplets of sugar water on the surface, caused by overcooking.

Solution : Bake your meringue pie on high heat with a short baking time. This helps prevent the outer layer of the meringue from overcooking, and thus preventing pearling. Cook at 220°C for 4 to 5 minutes.

Crying is the accumulation of water between the meringue and the pie filling, caused by undercooking.

Solution : Make sure the pie filling is hot before spreading the meringue on it, then spread it around the edges to seal it. The warm filling ensures that the inside of the meringue is cooked, which prevents crying. Sprinkling thin cake crumbs, vanilla wafer crumbs, or semi-soft bread crumbs over the filling will absorb the liquid between the meringue and the pie filling, which will also prevent crying.

Shrinkage is a loss of volume during cooking.

Solution : For 2 egg whites, dissolve ½ teaspoon cornstarch in water and heat it before whisking it into the beaten egg whites.

Note : Swiss or Italian meringues are less likely to shrink and weep because they are already baked.


equipment and accessories for the meringue

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