French meringue (basic dough)



Pristine and white as clouds, delicate and crumbly enough to embellish spoon desserts. The greediest even crumble them in coffee or hot chocolate. They are meringues! An irresistible foam made of only two ingredients: egg whites and powdered sugar. It seems that the mixture was born in France, hence the name French meringue, but it soon became adopted by us as well. Thus, we could say that the Italian meringue is a kind of alter ego of the French one. In reality, the fundamental difference between the two lies in the way the egg whites are whipped. In the French meringue, the step of pasteurization through water and sugar syrup is omitted, thus whipping the egg whites directly in the stand mixer. We also add a few drops of lemon juice to make the mixture shinier and foamier, but above all to give it a pleasant lemony essence that will make your meringues even tastier. So, are you ready to prepare French meringue, armed with a stand mixer? You'll find out it's easier done than said! And to get the hang of it, you can also try the vegan version!

Also try the Swiss meringue, which differs in the type of cooking in a bain-marie!

Ingredients for about 45 meringues (about 1 and 1/5 inches in diameter)
Egg whites 3.5 oz (100 g) - (about 3 medium eggs) at room temperature
Powdered sugar 1 cup (220 g)
Lemon juice to taste

How to prepare French meringue (basic dough)

To prepare French meringue, start with the eggs, which must necessarily be very fresh and at room temperature. Separate the yolks from the whites, pouring the latter into the bowl of a stand mixer 1 (the yolks are not needed for this recipe but don't waste them, you can prepare a tasty pastry cream). Before turning on the mixer, make sure there are no traces or residues of yolks, otherwise, the whites won't whip up. Then start the mixer at medium speed and add half of the sugar 2 together with a few drops of lemon juice 3.

You need to whip the egg whites until very stiff. To be sure of the outcome, you can do two tests. The first is visual: the mixture should look shiny and foamy. The second you can do with the whisks: detaching them, you should notice a tuft with a point 4. Add the rest of the powdered sugar 5 and incorporate it with a spatula, mixing very gently from the bottom up, so as not to deflate the whites 6.

Transfer the mixture into a piping bag with a serrated nozzle 7 and then form tufts, about 1 and 1/5 inches in diameter, well spaced on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper 8. Bake in a preheated static oven at 170°F for about 2 hours: they need to dry out slowly in the oven. As soon as your meringue tufts are well dried, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before peeling them off the baking sheet: enjoy the French meringue whenever you prefer 9!

How to store

French meringue can be stored for a long time, the important thing is that they do not get moist. So keep them under a glass dome, or better in a tin box, and always at room temperature.


To check if they are cooked, you will need to try one: if the inside is still too soft, continue baking. Try to make all the meringues the same size so they cook evenly.
If you prefer colored meringues, try dividing the mixture into as many bowls as you have colors: just a pinch of powdered coloring for pastel shades, gently graduated!
You can also enhance them with your favorite spices like cinnamon, anise, or cocoa powder, or even with berries.
Did you know that by adding meringue to nut granules, you can make delicious cookies called ugly but good?