The meringue behind the macaron, Pavlova, and Eton mess, a French meringue is a simple combination of room temperature egg whites and granulated sugar, no heating required. While this is the simplest way to make meringue (no extra tools or time on the stovetop), it is also the most delicate of the meringues. To help make this meringue smooth and dreamy, use extra-fine granulated sugar or castor sugar. This sugar has a finer grain than standard granulated sugar but isn’t powdered like confectioners sugar, allowing it dissolve and incorporate into the meringue with ease.
French Meringue Kisses
Makes about 65 kisses
- ½ cup (120 grams) egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (200 grams) castor sugar
- ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt at medium-low speed until soft peaks form, 5 to 6 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add sugar in a slow, steady stream, beating until combined. (This should take about 3 minutes.) Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until thick and shiny, 10 to 12 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl halfway through mixing. Rub meringue between 2 fingers to make sure it is smooth and no sugar granules can be felt. Add vanilla, and beat at medium-high speed until combined, about 30 seconds.
- Preheat oven to 225°F (107°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Transfer meringue to a large pastry bag fitted with a Wilton 1A round piping tip. Holding tip perpendicular to parchment paper, pipe 1¼-inch-wide, 1-inch-high meringue kisses at least ½ inch apart on prepared pans.
- Bake until dry to the touch, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn oven off, and leave meringue kisses in oven with door closed for 1 hour. Remove from oven (meringues will peel off parchment without sticking), and let cool completely on pans. Best served same day.
PRO TIP-To make extra-fine granulated sugar or castor sugar, place granulated sugar in the work bowl of a food processor, the container of a blender, or a spice grinder. (If using a large food processor, make sure there is enough sugar to cover the blades.) Pulse until sugar resembles fine sand, about 2 pulses. Make sure you don’t pulse too much; otherwise, you’ll end up with confectioners’ sugar.
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