Perfect French Meringues

These easy, make-ahead blood orange meringues are the perfect celebration of citrus! Consider this your go-to guide for perfect meringues, curd and whipped cream!
A bunch of meringues with blood orange curd

Meringues have a reputation for being fussy, but trust me, with a solid recipe along with some tips and technique you will be cranking out this foolproof dessert like it ‘aint no thing. I partnered with C&H® Sugar to share allllll of my favorite tips for making perfect French meringues Every. Single. Time.

Crispy meringues with blood orange curd

WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THESE BLOOD ORANGE MERINGUES

  • This dessert has all of the textures and flavors you need: crispy from the meringues, angel-soft, billowy whipped cream and tart-sweetness from the smooth blood orange curd.
  • Don’t have blood oranges, no problem! You can subsitute in other citrus (see below!) you might have on hand. 
  • I’ll tell you how to infuse mega flavor into your meringue, whipped cream and curd. I keep it classic in this recipe, but you can infuse tea, herbs, spices – the possibilities are endless. There are notes below!
  • French meringues are the ultimate make-ahead dessert. They can just site in the turned off oven until you’re ready to serve. 
  • These will stay white and crisp every time.
  • The Blood Orange Curd comes together in 15 minutes-ish and uses only five ingredients: C&H® Confectioners’ Sugar and C&H® Granulated Sugar, egg yolks, Blood Orange Juice (+ Zest) and butter, that’s it!
  • Both the meringues and the blood orange curd can be a touch sweet, but the barely sweetened whipped cream tempers everything. PERRRFECTION.
Blood orange curd party

DH TIP

We’re going to make French meringue here, which I love. There are three types of meringue:

French Meringue whipping egg whites with sugar and an acid (cream of tartar, specifically, in this recipe).

Italian Meringue streaming simple syrup into egg whites as they’re being whipped.

Swiss Meringue heating egg whites and sugar over a double boiler and then whipping to oblivion, typically to make swiss meringue buttercream (yum!).

There’s more to all of these than the above snippets, but you get the gist!

A heap of blood orange curd

MAKING
PERFECT FRENCH MERINGUES

Prepping Your Equipment + Ingredients 

Fats are the enemy of happy meringues. Before adding your egg whites to your mixer bowl make sure that absolutely everything that will come in contact with your egg whites (whisk, bowl, spatula) is thoroughly cleaned and dried.

Separating your eggs can be a frustrating step! How many times have you gone to make meringue and you get a tiny bit of yolk in the egg whites as you crack the last one? To remedy this, crack each egg white into a bowl and then pour the clean egg white into the mixing bowl, one at a time.

Meringue party

DH TIP

A note about eggs, meringue and temperature… 

Separate your egg whites from the yolks when they are still cold; you’ll have less yolk breakage this way. 

It’s proper technique to separate your eggs when cool and then whip your egg whites when room temperature as many say they will become more voluminous when whipped at room temperature. To be honest, I’ve never noticed a difference, so do what works for you!

Yes, you can make perfect French meringues using a whisk and a clean bowl, but can I speak frankly? I have tried it and honestly, it’s exhausting. If you have more upper body strength than me (which is a solid possibility), then go for it! Otherwise, get yourself a mixer (stand mixer or hand mixer) to help the process along.

Steps for Making Meringue

  1. Add your egg whites, cream of tartar and salt to your SUPER clean bowl. The cream of tartar and salt will both help stabilize your meringue (YAY!). With your mixer on medium, after 3ish minutes they should become frothy and the mixture will be starting to become opaque. 
  2. At this point you’re going to gradually add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. While it’s tempting to just dump it all in (trust me, I’ve tried every shortcut!!), it will yield a less stable and predictable meringue. When the sugar is gradually adding you’re giving it time to dissolve into egg whites. This is giving the meringue time to build structure (stability). Take your time here and don’t rush it. Add a tablespoon and then wait a bit for it to dissolve, then add another.
  3. I’m always surprised at how quickly it comes together. Suddenly, you’ll look in the bowl and you’ll be at soft peaks (see the section below to learn about peaks). Keep going and suddenly we’re at firm peaks (but we’re not done yet!). Add in the confectioners’ sugar which will add more stability to your meringue (thanks to the cornstarch in there) and you’ll whip for a short time more and you’ll be at firm peaks and you’re ready to sculpt your meringues! You’ll know you’re at this point when the whisk is leaving tracks in the meringue and it’s slightly pulling away from the side of the bowl.
A bunch of meringues with blood orange curd

DH TIP

Another reason we add the sugar slowly (aside from building structure) is so our meringues don’t weep once out of the oven. Nobody wants a sad meringue, amirite? I’m actually serious, but I couldn’t resist. #dadjokes

WHAT ARE PEAKS

‘Peaks’ is the term used to describe what stage your meringue is at…

SOFT PEAKS

When you’ve reached soft peaks, your meringue is opaque, and the whisk is likely leaving faint tracks in the meringue. If you were to run the whisk through the meringue and then invert it, the meringue would be floppy and not hold much shape.

MEDIUM PEAKS

Once you reach medium peaks, the tracks in the meringue are more defined but not set. If you run your whisk through the meringue and then invert it, the meringue will hold its shape better and will probably be pointed at 10 o’clock. See the tip below on the clock analogy. 

STIFF PEAKS

When you’ve reached this stage, your meringue will be shiny, opaque and the whisk will be leaving very defined tracks in it. If you swirl your whisk in the meringue and pull it straight out and then invert it, the tip of the meringue will be pointing somewhere between 11 o’clock and 12 o’clock. This is perfect. You can overwhip meringue, and it’s a mega bummer. So pay attention, sip some champagne and watch. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

Stack o' meringues

DH TIP

To check what stage ‘peaks’ your meringue is at, simply remove the whisk attachment from your mixer. Stir the whisk down to the bottom of the bowl and then pull the whisk straight out of the bowl and invert it. I often use the description that you want your meringue to be at 11 o’clock. If you look at a clock, 11 is just shy of pointing straight up to the sky. I like to take my meringue to this point so that I don’t run the risk of over-whipping it. Because yes, you can overwhip it. You know you’ve overwhipped your meringue when it’s Styrofoam-esque. Le sigh. This sucks.

Shaping Your Meringues

I have an enormous ice cream scoop that I love to use for scooping individual meringues. However, not everyone has said enormous ice cream scoop laying around! You can use a cookie scoop (although each meringue will likely need several scoops) or you can use two spoons.

Once you have some beautiful blobs of meringue you can start to shape them. You can use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth the sides a bit. These should be about 4-inches wide and once you have the desired shape, use the back of your spoon to make the slightest well on top, which is where you’ll put your whipped cream and curd.

If you’re feeling frisky, you can pipe your meringue. Star tips are so pretty. But I have to say, I love the carefree vibes of little freeform ones.

Adding Jazz Hands

You can barely fold in unsweetened cocoa powder for chocolate meringues; try freeze-dried pulverized fruit for fruity meringues; real vanilla bean seeds for delicious flavor and I love the vanilla flecks; and even sprinkles (birthday party meringues? …I actually love this idea…stay tuned). 

Blood Oranges

MAKING BLOOD ORANGE CURD

Citrus curd is seriously one of the better things in life. Whoever first came up with it should be canonized. 

Substitutes

You can play around with other citrus in this recipe; I would recommend using one of these citrus options: blood orange, cara cara (LOVE), tangerine or orange. If you can think of any others, ask about them in the comments below!

For this recipe, I really cut back on the sugar from my lemon and lime curds, which naturally need more sugar because of their tartness. So I don’t think this curd recipe would be great made with only lemon juice (it would be sooooo tart!!).

Another customization option is to combine citrus: blood orange-lime or tangerine-lemon and then you’re pulling in some of that tartness.  

Blood Oranges

Let’s Talk Blood Orange Curd Specifically…

In the recipe, I have you reduce the blood orange juice. It’s super easy, takes about 5 minutes and it does two things. First, it concentrates the blood orange flavor. Which is fab, because who doesn’t want that? Second, it intensifies the color of the juice, which in turn intensifies the color of the curd. If you make the curd without cooking it down, the curd isn’t, frankly, as pretty. The color is a little limp.

Your blood orange juice should have reduced (you’ll see the line along the pan) and you should end up with about ½ to 2/3 cup of juice.

You can cook down the juice in the same pan that you’re making the curd in, don’t worry about washing it. While the curd cooks, you can massage the blood orange zest into the sugar. 

Why are we massaging sugar?

That’s an excellent question. I could say it’s relaxing. Or a mini massage for your fingertips. But it’s actually another step to really infusing that bright flavor into every corner of the curd. Do it!

What Next?

Combine the juice, sugars and egg yolks in the saucepan, whisking away until smooth and then place over medium heat. You’ll whisk, wonder if anything is happening, continue whisking, get impatient and want to turn the heat up. Or is that just me? Be patient. You’ll know your curd is done when your whisk starts to feel some resistance from the curd. Also, grab a spoon and dip it in your curd. Run the tip of your finger through the curd and the track should stay visible and not disappear. Then you know your curd is done. 

Your curd will continue to thicken as it cools. One of my favorite curd tricks is adding confectioners’ sugar in addition to the granulated sugar as the former will also help to thicken the curd. That said, this isn’t a stiff curd at all…it’s very soft in both flavor and texture.

I always strain my curd so that it is completely smooth and then whisk in the butter until melted. Be sure to cover the surface immediately with plastic wrap so that it doesn’t develop a skin. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve!

A delicious meringue with a bite out of it

DH TIP

You can use this curd in place of lemon curd for bar cookies or make mini blood orange tarts with it. It’s also great with muffins, scones or used wherever you might use jam…

CUSTOMIZE!!

You know how we’re massaging the citrus zest into the sugar? Well, there are so many other things that you could do to add flavor here. You can add earl grey tea or lavender… If you’re adding something that you wouldn’t want to bite into (like tea or lavender bits in your curd – yuck), I like to pulse the sugar and the addition (tea, spice, herb, whatever) in a food processor until fine and well combined. When you strain the curd into its container, any unwieldy bits will be strained out.

Meringues and whipped cream!

MAKING WHIPPED CREAM

Whipped cream is best eaten immediately after being whipped, so plan your evening accordingly. It takes less than 10 minutes and if you have everything measured it will be done in a pinch.

Whipped cream is best made with cold heavy whipping cream and a cold bowl. Many people swear that the best way to whip whipped cream is by hand, with a whisk and a bowl. Again, I might need to work on my arm strength, but I find it exhausting. I use my electric stand mixer and it’s done quickly. Which is important to note so that you don’t take your eyes off of it, because it will be done fast. 

We’re looking for soft peaks…we want it to sort of flop onto itself. Nothing should be pointing in any direction here. 

The confectioners’ sugar just barely sweetens the whipped cream. It’s perfect.

BLOOD ORANGE MERINGUE SAMPLE BAKER’S SCHEDULE

WEDNESDAY EVENING

Make your blood orange curd and stash it in the fridge. If you’re feeling frisky, this would be pretty with candied blood orange peel or slices (click here for instructions on how to candy citrus).

THURSDAY EVENING

Make your meringues and leave them in your turned-off oven overnight. 

FRIDAY

At some point in the day check the exterior of your meringues, are they dry to the touch or the slightest bit tacky? If it’s the latter, place them in a 200 F (93 C) oven and bake for about 20 minutes to crisp them up again. Turn off the oven and leave them inside until ready to use. If you need the oven for dinner, that’s fine. Place them somewhere cool and dry. 

Meringues love to absorb moisture. So if you’re boiling water for pasta, you might want to put them in another room.

When ready to assemble, whip up the whipped cream and assemble the meringues on serving plates. Layer whipped cream over the tops of the meringues and then add the curd. Serve immediately. These babies don’t want to wait around for their time in the limelight.

Crispy meringues with blood orange curd

EQUIPMENT + TOOLS

My favorite stuff for whipping up perfect meringues, curd and whipping cream:

Electric Stand Mixer with the Whisk Attachment

OR, Hand Mixer

Baking Sheet(s)

Parchment Paper

Saucepan

Whisk

Scale

Heaps of beautiful citrus

MORE CITRUS RECIPES

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Crispy meringues with blood orange curd

Perfect French Meringues with Blood Orange Curd

These easy, make-ahead blood orange meringues are the perfect celebration of citrus! Consider this your go-to guide for perfect meringues, curd and whipped cream!
5 from 6 votes
Print Save Rate
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Meringues
Keyword: Dessert, Meringue, Blood Orange, Citrus Curd
Servings: 6 Meringues

Ingredients

For the Meringues

  • 4 large egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup (150 g) C&H® Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup (35 g) C&H® Confectioners’ Sugar

For the Blood Orange Curd

  • 3/4 cup (168 g) fresh blood orange juice (about 5 blood oranges)
  • 1/3 cup (67 g) C&H® Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (4 g) blood orange zest
  • 1/3 cup (40 g) C&H® Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter room temperature

For the Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup (237 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon (8 g) C&H® Confectioners’ Sugar

To Garnish

  • Blackberries optional

Instructions

For the Meringue

  • Preheat oven to 200 F (93 C). Cover several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Make sure the bowl and whisk are freshly cleaned and dried. Whisk on medium until the eggs are frothy and then slowly add in C&H® Granulated Sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Really take your time here so that the sugar has time to dissolve; this should take about 5 minutes. When all of the sugar is in, turn the mixer on high and just before you reach stiff peaks, dump in the C&H® Confectioners’ Sugar. Run the mixer on low to combine and then increase to high until you reach stiff peaks again, which should take less than a minute depending on the speed of your mixer. The meringue will look glossy and hold its shape when you invert the whisk. The tip of the inverted meringue will be just shy of 12 o’clock. It should also feel smooth when you rub some between your fingers.
  • Divide the meringue into 6 mounds on the prepared baking sheet(s). Leave 1- to 2-inches of space between each meringue so that the heat can evenly circulate around them in the oven.
  • Bake in the center of the oven for 2 hours. Check at some point between 1 and 1 1⁄2 hours to make sure the meringues aren’t browning and are still white. If they’re browning, turn off the oven. Let the meringues cool completely inside the oven. This should take several hours.

For the Curd

  • To a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, add the blood orange juice. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer over medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes. In a small bowl,
  • combine the C&H® Granulated Sugar and zest and massage the zest into the sugar (we’re infusing flavor here!) and then add to the blood orange juice, whisking until well blended. Whisk in C&H® Confectioners’ Sugar and egg yolks until smooth. Place over medium heat and whisk until the curd has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 5-ish minutes. Press through a fine-mesh sieve into a heat-safe container, stir in the butter until melted and immediately cover the surface directly with plastic wrap. Stash in the fridge to cool completely; it will thicken as it cools.

For the Whipped Cream

  • Place the cold, heavy whipping cream in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium until soft peaks form. Sprinkle C&H® Confectioners’ Sugar over the top and whisk until soft peaks return, taking care not to overbeat the cream.
  • To serve, dollop the whipped cream over the top of the meringue, top with the curd, some berries (if using) and serve!

Video

Notes

The curd can be made up to one week ahead of time. Store in the fridge in a lidded container.
The meringues can be made the night before serving. I keep mine stashed in the turned-off oven until ready to use. If it’s especially humid in your neck of the woods, they may need to be re-crisped in the oven. Place them in the same temperature oven that they baked in for about 20 minutes. Additionally, if it is quite humid, they may need a longer initial bake time (just make sure they don’t take on any extra color).
Whipped cream should be made just prior to serving.
 
Thanks for baking with me! Please tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo

This post + these Meringues with Blood Orange Curd were created in collaboration with C&H® Sugar!! A big THANK YOU to them + you for supporting the brands I work with! 

12 Comments

  • Erin February 25, 2021 at 10:51 AM

    5 stars
    Can these be made ahead of time?

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth February 25, 2021 at 10:54 AM

      Hi Erin! Yes, the meringues and curd can both me made ahead of time. If you live in a high humidity area you may need to heat in a low oven (same as bake temp) for 10-15 minutes. I would make the whipped cream just prior to serving. Let me know if you have any other questions! xo

      Reply
  • Sara February 17, 2021 at 7:43 PM

    5 stars
    Could I make the curd with lemons or another citrus?

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth February 17, 2021 at 7:46 PM

      Hi Sara! For this recipe I would stick to sweeter citrus, like oranges, tangerines, etc. The sugar is reduced in this curd since blood oranges are already pretty sweet on their own. xo

      Reply
  • Mary M. February 17, 2021 at 6:31 PM

    5 stars
    Making these weekend—these look so good!!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth February 17, 2021 at 6:32 PM

      I hope you love them! Let me know if you have any questions! xo

      Reply
  • Stephanie L Vanlochem February 16, 2021 at 9:30 AM

    5 stars
    These look absolutely perfect, I need to make them this weekend. Thanks for always hitting us with these incredible recipes!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth February 16, 2021 at 9:31 AM

      Thank you so much Stephanie!!! I hope you do!!! xox

      Reply
  • Jimmy February 13, 2021 at 8:55 AM

    Phenomenal work Rebecca! I can’t wait to try these.

    Reply
  • Sally February 12, 2021 at 7:29 PM

    5 stars
    I love these! Perfect for valentines day.

    Reply

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