Source: Martha Stewart Living, February/March February/March 1992
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 5 large egg whites
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil. Continue to boil until syrup reaches soft-ball stage, 238 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Meanwhile, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium high until stiff but not dry.
With mixer running, pour syrup into egg whites in a steady stream and beat on high speed until steam is no longer visible, about 3 minutes. Add butter, bit by bit. After all the butter has been added, beat for 3 to 5 minutes, until smooth and spreadable. If the icing looks curdled at any point during the beating process, don't panic: keep beating and it will smooth out.