Easter Meringue

Yield: Serves 6-8

Easter Meringue


  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar (optional)
  • 3/4 C. (185 g) very fine sugar
  • 2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Lemon filling:
  • 1 1/4 C. (310 g) sugar
  • 4 T. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 C. (310 ml) water
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1/3 C. (100 ml) fresh lemon juice


    Making Meringue:
  1. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Add the salt and cream of tartar, if using it. (See General Instructions for Making Meringues below for details.)
  2. Continue beating until the whites have soft peaks when you lift the beaters out of the mixture.
  3. Add the sugar 1 T. at a time and continue beating until the meringue holds very stiff peaks when you lift out the beater. Test the mixture by rubbing a little bit between your thumb and finger; if it feels at all gritty, continue beating until it feels very smooth.
  4. Add the vinegar and the vanilla. Beat just to combine.
  5. The meringue can be formed into a variety of shapes, including a cross for Easter.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees F (95 degrees C) for about 1 hour. Place the baking sheet in the center of your oven, keeping a close watch on the oven temperature. You will probably need to rotate the baking sheet occasionally for more even baking. When the meringue is light brown and crisp, turn off the oven and leave it in the oven for at least an hour, or overnight to finish drying.
  7. Making the Lemon Filling:
  8. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in saucepan. Stir in cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and simmer 2 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in butter, lemon peel, and lemon juice. Cool completely before using. It's best to put the Lemon Filling in the meringue at the last minute, otherwise the meringue will absorb the moisture from the lemon filling and get soggy.
  10. Garnish with lemon roses, fresh flowers such as violets, fresh strawberries or raspberries,twists of lemon and mint leaves, or a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

More about Meringues

  • Meringues are easier to make and turn out better if the weather is dry, not humid.
  • It’s easier to separate cold eggs, but they beat up higher if they are at room temperature. The solution? Separate the eggs while they’re cold, then set them aside until they warm up a bit before beating them.
  • Always use a glass, stainless steel or copper bowl to beat the egg whites, never plastic. Residual grease on a plastic bowl can hinder them beating up stiff. Even just a little egg yolk or grease in your egg white mixture hinders them becoming stiff.
  • It’s best to separate the eggs one at a time into a small bowl or cup before adding it to your bowl for beating. This way if the egg doesn’t separate easily and you get a little yolk in it, you can keep it in the fridge for another recipe but don’t try to salvage the white for a meringue.
  • I’ve made many meringues without cream of tartar which turn out fine. In fact, the Easter Meringue pictured here was made without it. The purpose of cream of tartar is to stabilize the mixture and give it more volume. However, if you don’t have cream of tartar, you can still make a meringue, it just might have a bit less volume.
  • You need very fine sugar for a good meringue. If your sugar is not very fine, process some in a blender or food processor so that you have a smooth meringue.
  • You need a VERY low oven temperature for meringues! I highly recommend an oven thermometer–not only for meringues but for everyday use. Stay close to your oven and if the temperature goes too high, open the oven door to lower the temperature. I sometimes prop my oven door open a bit with a wooden spoon. If the temperature is too high, it will not only brown too much the meringue will dry and set too quickly.

Making Lemon Roses

  1. Use a sharp knife to cut the peel away from the lemon, making it as thin and as long as possible.
  2. Beginning with one end, roll up the peel into a flower.
  3. If your strip broke into two pieces, you can generally still make a rose by just adding the second strip to the first.
  4. Place the completed roses into a cup of uncooked rice to keep their shape until used as garnish.


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