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Making Your Own Meringues (page 2 of 2)

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Meringue is the most obvious pastry to bake when you have too many egg whites, and yet many home chefs are frightened to try homemade meringues. See how easy they are if you go by the book.
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You should obtain a very stiff, intensely white cream.

Fill a pastry bag with the meringue cream.

Place parchment paper on a baking tray and pipe the meringue in regular mounds. Try not to move the pipe as you push the meringue out and nice, circular mounds will appear. This is not toothpaste and you don't want white slugs.

You do not need much spacing and they won't expand much. Depending on what you plan to use them for, you might make little rods or even a disc.

My 200 gr filtered egg whites yielded two full trays of meringues. Heat the oven to 105°C/220°F and bake for about 90 minutes. If your oven continues to work when you open it, place a bowl of aluminum foil to keep it slightly open so the water steam from the meringue will escape and they will dry better.

Two things happen when you bake a meringue. First the sugar/egg foam changes its structure. Then all water evaporates, leaving a brittle structure. Depending on the size of the meringue you may have to leave them to dry in the oven at 80°C with the door slightly ajar for several hours until they are really dry.

Do not hesitate to take one out and taste it. The inside should be dry but can be slightly chewy, like a caramel.

I wish you success with your meringues! This is the simplest meringue and the most natural one to prepare at home, known in the trade as 'French meringue' or 'Common meringue'. There are also 'Italian meringues' and 'Swiss meringues' that use a slightly more complex technique.

Published 26/03/2007
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54 Comments

  • #1
  • Comment by C Ann Kuhn
  • on: 02/04/2007
What a lovely and very explicit recipe and pictures to make a perfect meringue.  I think I want to make larger ones with a well to place mixed berries for an exquisite dessert.
  • #2
  • Comment by BK
  • on: 03/04/2007
Meringue brought back sweet memories of my mother. She would make meringue whenever she has lots of egg whites left from using the yolks for other recipes.I'll make some following this recipe and let my mother try them!
  • #3
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 05/04/2007
Thanks for the nice comment, Ann!
BK, I am so pleased you like the recipe enough to compare it to your mother's. This is really praise from Caesar!
  • #4
  • Comment by david
  • on: 19/04/2007
I'm going to try this, I think it looks easy and delicious ... sagenhaft!
  • #5
  • Comment by sannie
  • on: 06/06/2007
My husband loves to eat meringue that's why I try to browse the internet and find your recipe... Thank you so much I will try to make it next week... and the photos look lovely and makes my mouth watery.... This is Annie from FRANCE.
  • #6
  • Comment by stas
  • on: 29/06/2007
Very nice HOWTO, especially the tip about leaving them to dry for a few hours.Now I can finally make my own meringues :-)Thanks.
  • #7
  • Comment by susie
  • on: 05/07/2007
I have problems with a runny meringue.  I will try your tips.  
  • #8
  • Comment by michaela
  • on: 21/07/2007
Sometimes my meringues are perfect but other times they leave a toffee like lump that gets stuck in the teeth. Why is this as I can't work out if I have done something wrong.  Thank you
  • #9
  • Comment by james tatchell
  • on: 01/08/2007
Very user friendley! Thank you, you helped my dessert be a success!
  • #10
  • Comment by Sheri
  • on: 04/09/2007
I've searched several times for a "good" recipe, as I had lost one from my mother's Hoosier Inn restaurant in Indiana in the 1940s.  How delighted I was that someone had posted the hyperlink to this recipe at another site.I love knowing the reason behind why you should do something & you certainly explained this extremely well.  Plus, the pictures are excellent.  Thank you so much!P.S.  Now if you have a recipe for a Crustless Cheesecake (not a cheesepie, that most of the recipes 'actually' are, I would love it.  lol
  • #11
  • Comment by becky
  • on: 20/10/2007
THANKS for posting! it is incredibly useful with the details and pictures! keep posting please! my first attempt at meringue failed miserably because I did not use an electric mixer... I hope now with your tips I can bake real meringues:)
  • #12
  • Comment by Florence
  • on: 08/11/2007
Is it possible to make the meringue ahead (1 hour of so)of time? ..... because I have always made it when I was ready to put it in the oven, and the noise of the beating of egg whites has always been unsatisfactory to me!
  • #13
  • Comment by Dennis
  • on: 21/11/2007
Hi, thank you for a very imformative article!  If you wish to use cream of tartar, is there a certain amount to use?  Also how important is it that the egg whites are room temperature vs refrigerated before you whip them up?  Thank you for your help.  Dennis
  • #14
  • Comment by Judith A. Doan
  • on: 21/11/2007
I'm 65 years old. The print is way too small. What type of bowl should I use? Can you let me know now? I'm in the process of making meringue, please. Appreciate your help. Thank You!    Judy Doan      Maskeegirl@yahoo.com
  • #15
  • Comment by Gilda Garcia
  • on: 07/01/2008
Very helpful tips and pictures. I love meringues.  
  • #16
  • Comment by Tracy
  • on: 10/01/2008
Meringues are naturally a lower calorie cookie but since I'm really watching my sugar I decided to substitute half the sugar with Splenda.  Also added 3 drops of yellow food coloring and 1/2 tsp banana flavoring (to two egg whites) along with 3/4 cup chopped walnuts. This made wonderful Banana Nut Meringues that I'll be taking to my next club function! thanks for the great photos!
  • #17
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 16/01/2008
Flavored meringues are very popular in France too. I'm glad the recipe worked for you!
  • #18
  • Comment by Phyllis Roedername
  • on: 18/01/2008
I enjoyed reading about how to make the meringue.  My problem is that it usually "weeps" after I take it out of the oven (lemon meringue pie).  What causes the weeping and how can I prevent it?  With that answer, I will have the perfect pie!  Many thanks!!
  • #19
  • Comment by Dalline
  • on: 19/01/2008
I loved your article but was trying to find out about merinques on pie.  When  to put on cold or hot pies and what to do to keep them from seeping after they have been on a while. Any help will be great.Thanks
  • #20
  • Comment by paulette roos
  • on: 01/02/2008
What causes pies to sweat? My meringue pies have a syrup like liquid between topping and filling.
  • #21
  • Comment by rutuja
  • on: 01/02/2008
The procedure is very well and easily explained.Home u put up some more recipes like this!
  • #22
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 02/02/2008
Thank you Rutuja!
  • #23
  • Comment by Steve
  • on: 14/02/2008
Can this be done without sugar or sugar substitutes?Thanks
  • #24
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 14/02/2008
Steve, I don't think you could really do meringue without sugar. If it's possible, I don't know how, sorry!
  • #25
  • Comment by Yvonne Russell
  • on: 04/03/2008
I have my meringues in the oven now and they look just right!  I hope they bake well, and will let you know if any problems ensue.  Thank you for this recipe and I will be visiting your we site again.  Yvonne
  • #26
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 04/03/2008
Yvonne you have done the hardest part, making the meringue. Just let them bake in peace and on a low heat and they will be just fine. Good luck!
  • #27
  • Comment by Sarah
  • on: 26/05/2008
I'm in despair!  No matter how carefully I whisk, once I get my egg whites to the 'standing in peaks' stage, once I start adding sugar, even just a little sprinkle at a time (usually I'm using a mixture of caster and icing sugar), the whole lot just turns to runny liquid.  What on earth am I doing wrong?  A neighbour told me I had overbeaten the eggs, but someone else told me to whisk them til they wouldn't drop out of the bowl and I can never get to that stage before they turn runny, they will ALWAYS just slide out of the bowl!  Please help.
I was very impressed by the precision at which the recipes were described. In and throughout the language used was persistently clear, whilst maintaining a refreshingly humorous, yet informative tone...I am utterly delighted to have come across such gem of a website!


good work!


Al sage.
I loved your article about meringue, but am interested in meringue for pies, my crust always gets soggy, because my meringue weeps, I have never beat the egg whites completely stiff before adding the sugar, would this cure my weeping of the meringue other wise the pies turn out fine.  I usually add the sugar when the egg whites come up in a little stiff piece that stands up.    Thanks for any help.  Dalline
  • #30
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 04/06/2008
Sarah, there are lots of things you can try. First use only the cleanest pots, whisks and above all, egg whites. Then let your egg whites age in the fridge for a good week before trying. If you have an all-copper pot, use it to whisk the whites. Otherwise add a drop of lemon to stabilize them. Add the sugar gradually. You might want to try an electric whisker. I hope this helps!
  • #31
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 04/06/2008
Albert, thanks a lot for visiting and I'm glad you liked the recipe! Check out some of my other articles, you might enjoy the Paneer one.
  • #32
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 04/06/2008
Dalline, I will soon publish a rhubarb meringue pie recipe, but otherwise just read the tips about meringue making and follow them strictly, it should help with your results. Good luck!
  • #33
  • Comment by Una Smith
  • on: 09/08/2008
Here is a random use for meringues.  I made little meringue drops to use as the base of icing roses to decorate a birthday cake.  I put them in the cold oven to dry out of the way, then forgot they were there and turned on the oven.  Oops.  Well, the meringues were still moist inside and they puffed up into ... mushrooms!  Each one with a cap and stem, bent at its own funny angle.  I decorated them like psychedelic toadstools, using food coloring and a paintbrush, and stuck them all over the cake.  It was a huge success.
  • #34
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 12/08/2008
Una, this looks like a terrific discovery, those popping meringues. Do you recall the size of the drops, the temperature and time you baked them?
  • #35
  • Comment by Scotty
  • on: 18/10/2008
I'm really rather glad that I found your website, Ive been reading through it and its now one of my favorites. As for your meringues, They work out a treat, An absolute treat! I'm going to tie it into the Pavlova recipe my grandmother taught me  to see if it will help ( Pavlova is basically a giant meringue)
  • FX's answer→ Good luck with the Pavlova Scotty!

  • #37
  • Comment by judy b
  • on: 09/12/2008
Great article and helpful because I made a chiffon cake and it used 7 yolks.  My ownly problem is I have no scale to weigh and wish I knew how many whites to use.  like 4 whites and 2 cups of sugar---something akin to that.  But learned to keep oven ajar too.  Thanks   judy
  • FX's answer→ Oh Judy, you nailed down a very critical point here. There are all sizes of eggs out there, if you count the eggs or egg whites instead of weighing them, your cakes and meringues will be very different depending on the eggs you use. If you want to do bring your pastry to the next level you have to buy a digital scale - no other way.

  • #39
  • Comment by elena valencia
  • on: 09/04/2009
me gusto mucho tu receta de los merengues, y sobre todo que lo pones paso a paso, quedarian igual los merengues si les añado splenda, y sabor artificial?, gracias de antemano por tu respuesta. bye
  • FX's answer→ Hola Elena, gracias por tu visita! Desgraciadamente no si si puedes añadir splenda, tienes que pruebar. Però si que puedes usar todos los sabores artificiales y naturales que quieres. Buena suerta!

  • #41
  • Comment by Patricia
  • on: 02/06/2009
Gracias por la receta. Los tips estan muy buenos. ahora trataré de llevarlos a cabo. La verdad es que nunca me han salido bien.
  • #42
  • Comment by anm
  • on: 01/07/2009
Simply astounding Francois
  • #43
  • Comment by alex
  • on: 13/08/2009
I have been making meringues for dessert since 1974,
when I came to the States from England.
I serve them with whipped cream/confectioners sugar
sandwiched between 2 meringues.   So good!!!
  • #44
  • Comment by Jonathan
  • on: 03/12/2009
Dear FX,

 Thank you for your clear advice for the meringue.  I successfully made them here - even though it rained throughout the day! :).  I gave them a little coffee flavor.  I want to make some candies and confections for Christmas but don't have a candy thermometer yet.   
  • FX's answer→ Glad this helped you, Jonathan. Cooking sugar for confectionery is tricky, even with the thermometer. Good luck!

  • #46
  • Comment by boots
  • on: 13/02/2010
Baked a pavlova for almost two hours in a gas oven; opened the oven to check if dried, closed the oven as the top felt crispy, cooked and dry. Looked through the glass door oven without opening the oven, and the pavlova top crumbled and looked hallow inside even when left in the oven to cool. What had caused this?  How could the entire Pavlova be intact without this crumbling problem.  Your help would be much appreciated as soon as possible as a relative of mine would like me to show her to prepare this great recipe
Many thanks in advance.
  • FX's answer→ Maybe you overbeat your eggs, or added too much water. Not certain what happened here.

  • #48
  • Comment by boots
  • on: 26/02/2010
Thanks so much for your reply, but I will try your recipe once again tonight and will keep you posted. Have a great wkend.  
  • #49
  • Comment by lucila
  • on: 04/03/2010
hacia mucho tiempo queria saber esta receta muchas grasias
  • #50
  • Comment by Boots
  • on: 12/03/2010
Re:13/02/2010 - problem... Yes, it worked now that the eggwhites were not overbeaten.  More yummy this time, and many thanks for your prompt reply and guidance. Your website photos are marvelous for any new baker.
  • #51
  • Comment by LouLou
  • on: 02/07/2010
Just brilliant. I love the photos and the clearly defined method for making french meringues! I'm going to make them this weekend !!
  • #52
  • Comment by Zach
  • on: 17/07/2010
Word to the timid: I just made these without a scale, parchment paper, piping bag, baking sheets, or calibrated oven (does that feel like 200 degrees?  Sure!) and they came out perfect.  Exactitude is apparently unnecessary; my egg whites were 8 days old and filtered, though.
  • FX's answer→ Zach, glad the meringue worked even with just a fork for cookware!

  • #54
  • Comment by Rutpak
  • on: 09/09/2010
Great blog and great photos, nice change from many US food blogs.
I did meringues yesterday and they was excellent. I add more lemon and whisk by hand (it was quite tiring) two days old filtered whites. After a night my meringues was ever more tasty. I am thinking about making ragù bolognese, it will be second time I'd made it. First time I made it using very similar recipe to yours. This time I thinking about not using milk and using vegetable stock instead of chicken.
Emil.

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