This meringue is based on uncooked egg whites. As slight as the hazard is, there is a hazard of salmonella when using uncooked eggs. Be aware of this if you’re cooking for the very old, the very young or for someone with a compromised immune system.
French meringue is the simplest meringue preparation, since it requires no heating of the ingredients.
- 1 part egg white
- 2 parts superfine sugar, (whir sugar around in the food processor for a few minutes, or, if you must, buy superfine if you can find it)
- a drop or 2 of lemon juice, (the addition of a bit of acid aids in whipping)
- pinch of salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a balloon whisk, if you’re feeling saucy, whip the whites along with the pinch of salt and a couple of drops of lemon juice on medium speed until foamy.
- Slowly add in the sugar, a bit at a time, whipping on high speed until your meringue is thick and glossy and holds medium to stiff peaks.
- That is all there is to it. How you bake it is up to you.
Use for topping pies—just run the pie, liberally swirled with your meringue, under the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown it.
Use it for oeufs a la niege.
Use it to make those keen meringue mushrooms, or mice, maybe…To make the mushrooms or mice, instead of putting the piped figures under the broiler, you want to put them in the oven for at least a couple of hours on the lowest heat setting. You want to dry them out without browning them at all. Test by digging into the bottom of one of your figures with a small sharp knife. Let them go in the oven until they are crisp and dried all the way through. If you have a gas oven, just let them dry out overnight with only the heat from the pilot light.