Pin It
March 4, 2021

Basic Meringue Tutorial – All you need to know!

Posted on May 12, 2015 by in baked goods, rsg

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Basic Meringue

Basic Meringue? Yes, indeed all the basics is covered in this post. Basic meringue is just that, BASIC! So many people however are intimidated by it, almost like working with yeast and gelatine.

Basic meringue forms the basis of so many classics. Think about a tangy lemon meringue without its typical cloud of soft meringue…….. not a good thought is it? Or a Baked Alaska without the brown, slightly charred outside, it will just not work. My favorite party trick is to convert 4 egg whites and 200 ml caster sugar into a delicious Meringue Roulade and always has a jaw-drop reaction!

Well, seems there is more to it! A basic meringue  is not only a plain old simple recipe. Oh no, it can be  basic Swiss, basic Italian or basic French! In all of the recipes, the ingredients are the same, just the method varies! which to me makes it almost like kitchen chemistry and that is pretty cool.

I have tried and tested them all and I have to say, the recipe that intimidated me most, was the Italian Meringue and that is only because sugar thermometers scare me. I need to learn to trust the gadget or throw it away, so to me the two most successful and less painful methods for basic meringue are the Swiss and French methods. It is simple, fuss-free and yield good results every time. Try  them, as I did and try and find the basic meringue recipe that works for you!

Basic Meringue

Swiss Meringue

The perfect choice for piping shapes and baking them until crisp. You can even re-whip if necessary.

makes about 4 cups


4 egg whites – room temperature

250 ml sugar

1 pinch cream of tartar

5 ml vanilla extract

Fill  medium pot with about 2-3 cups of water. Gently heat over medium heat, and bring water to a simmer.
Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl that fits over the saucepan, but it must not touch the water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch. This takes about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing between your fingers.
Transfer the egg mixture to your mixer with the whisk attachment, and whip until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use meringue immediately, this meringue does not have to be baked. I use a blow torch to brown the meringue.

Basic Meringue

Italian Meringue

This meringue is made by drizzling sugar syrup of about 240 F/ 120 C into whites that have already been whipped to hold firm peaks. Whipping continues until the meringue is fully voluminous, satiny, stiff, and cool. Italian meringue is used for making meringues, cake frosting, on pies and also forms the base of nougat.

makes about 4 cups


250 ml sugar

125 ml water

4 room temperature egg whites

2 ml cream of tartar


Combine sugar and water in a small pot. Gently heat until all sugar has melted. Now increase heat and boil over high heat, brushing down sides of pot as necessary with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cook until sugar syrup registers 240°F/120 C on a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, combine egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of you mixer with a whisk attachment. Start the machine on medium speed and mix until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
While the mixer is running, slowly drizzle the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites. Increase speed to high and whip until glossy stiff peaks form.

Dollop spoonfuls of meringue onto baking pans, or use a pastry bag with a star tip and make meringues. Bake for 2 hours until crisp. Turn off the oven and allow meringues to cool and completely dry out.

basic meringue

French Meringue

This meringue is often referred to as the ordinary meringue because it is the easiest and most basic meringue recipe.It is also the recipe I use most.  French Meringue is used in mousse, cakes, Baked Alaska and I use it to make my roulade.

serves 6


6 large egg whites, room temperature

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cream of tartar

250 ml plus 30 ml caster sugar

Whisk egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar with your mixer on medium speed it starts to foam. Add caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until sugar dissolves and soft peaks form. Slowly increase speed to high and whisk until stiff peaks form. This takes 8 to 10 minutes. Use immediately.

Basic Meringue

Passion Fruit Meringue Pie

Makes 2 round pie


1 Sweet Shortbread pie crust – Follow this recipe and blind bake for 10-15 minutes.

3 x 385 g condensed milk

juice of 3 lemons

zest of 1 lemon

2 x 110 g granadilla pulp – or use about 6 fresh granadillas

6 egg yolks – keep whites of 4 eggs

1 batch French Meringue


Pre-heat oven to 180 C.  Mix condensed milk, granadilla pulp, lemon juice and zest and egg yolks until combined. Pour into baked pie crust and bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool. When completely cooled, make meringue mix, spoon onto meringue pie and brown with blow torch or pop under the griller for a few minutes.

Basic Meringue

Thursday  morning  just after 9 o’clock, I will be making these in the RSG studios, tune in if you have a chance!

I will also in weeks to come take you into the kitchens of other bloggers, chefs and interesting South Africans this year. So buckle up, it is going to be an awesome ride. Tune in 100-104FM or listen online here!

Follow me on:

Twitter follow me button Paella made to perfection!

 Facebook follow me button Paella made to perfection!


Facebook Comments

Tags: , , ,

5 Responses to “Basic Meringue Tutorial – All you need to know!”

  1. Hannelie Kotze 14 May 2015 at 7:23 pm #

    Nina jy maak die wereld ‘n beter plek!

  2. Heila Meintjes 18 May 2015 at 3:43 pm #

    Ek is opsoek na ‘n goeie lemon meringue resep asseblief? kan ek klein handgrootte tertjies maak en hoe lank voor die tyd kan dit staan?

    • nerinatimm 25 May 2015 at 8:38 am #

      Hella, ek dink jy kan die resep gebruik, los net die granadilla uit. As jy die Swiss meringue resep probeer kan dit nogal ‘n tydjie staan.

  3. Nadia 21 April 2016 at 6:51 pm #

    These muffins with meringue sound amazing. I second the least amount of dirty dishes possible etc.

    • nerinatimm 25 April 2016 at 8:35 am #

      Thank you so much!

Leave a Reply

Please fill the required box or you can’t comment at all. Please use kind words. Your e-mail address will not be published.

Gravatar is supported.

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>