We often find French meringue fussy to work with because, well, it's the fussiest style of meringue. The sugar must be added to the egg whites at precisely the right moment: too soon and the meringue won’t inflate properly; too late and the meringue will be gritty.
So we favor one of the other two styles of meringue, where the sugar is dissolved right from the start.
Italian meringue involves making a sugar syrup and beating it into egg whites as they are whipped.
Swiss meringue involves gently warming sugar and egg whites in a bowl over simmering water until the sugar is dissolved and then whipping the mixture. These meringues are most commonly used for buttercream frostings.
We like the lighter Italian meringue for topping meringue pies. The sugar syrup of our Italian meringue transforms egg whites into a tall, extra-fluffy topping that cooks through and is stable enough to resist unattractive weeping, one of the banes of lemon meringue pie.