Basics: How to Make Meringue

Perfect French meringue, every time

In our Basics series, we tackle the simple kitchen tasks; no job is so small that it doesn't deserve to be done perfectly.

Classic French meringue is one of the pillars of baking. While it can seem intimidating, it's quite easy to make if you follow a few rules. Some tips for perfect results:

  • Start with a clean, dry bowl; any fat left clinging to the bowl or tools can ruin an otherwise perfect meringue.
  • Likewise, make sure your egg whites are completely free of yolk. If you do accidentally break some yolk into your whites while separating your eggs, fish it out with a spoon or bit of shell.
  • A pinch of cream of tartar will help stabilize your meringue.
  • Wait until the egg whites and cream of tartar are foamy, then add the sugar in batches while beating. Slow additions help make sure the sugar is fully dissolved.

Remember that this type of meringue is uncooked, so if you're concerned about eating raw eggs you may want to use pasteurized egg whites.