A creamy meringue made by slowly beating hot sugar syrup into stiffly beaten egg whites. Because the sugar syrup is cooked to the soft-ball stage, the resulting meringue becomes very dense, glossy and smooth. The same method is used to make boiled icing. Italian meringue is used in soufflés, to frost cakes and pastries and to top pies (in the last case it's usually lightly browned in the oven before serving).
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.