Icky Sticky Meringues
Meringues are so versatile and very easy to make. All you need is a good freestanding electric mixer and some time. We always have some type of meringue lying around the pastry area of our kitchen as a multitude of flavourings and toppings go so well with it: dark, milk or white chocolate, fresh peppermint, rosewater or orange blossom, lemon, orange or lime zest, spices such as cinnamon and star anise, fruits like raspberry and mango, literally any type of chopped nuts and seeds, and even vegetables like roasted chicory and fennel too! Oh let’s not forget about a generous serving of cream, mascarpone, créme fraiche or geek–style yoghurt. Now can you see why meringues are a favourite of ours.
FACT: Did you know that egg whites freeze well? Even some top pastry chefs around the world prefer using egg whites that were frozen as the albumin, protein in the egg white, breaks down and allows more air to be trapped in the egg whites when whipping, therefore creating a lighter and crisper meringue. They can be kept in the freezer for up to 12 months, but make sure that you label egg whites with the date of freezing. Thaw egg whites overnight in the fridge and bring to room temperature before whisking.
Here is a quick and easy recipe to try at home.
Giant Meringue Drops with Rosewater and Pistachios
Makes 6 large meringues
– egg whites, room temperature, 150 grams (please use fresh free–range, not pasteurised)
– castor sugar, 300 grams
– rosewater, 1 teaspoon
– pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped, 50 grams
- Preheat the oven to 200oC / 180oC Fan / Gas Mark 6.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn on the mixer to high speed and leave to whisk for 1 minute until the egg whites froths up.
- Gently pour the sugar into the whisking egg whites. Then add the teaspoon of rosewater. Continue to whisk for 8–10 minutes until it keeps it shape and looks silky.
- The ultimate Mary Berry tip for knowing when the meringue is ready is to turn the bowl upside down over your head, and if the meringue doesn’t fall out, it’s done!
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Use a bit of meringue on each corner to stick the paper to the baking tray. See photograph above for reference.
- Using two large tablespoons, scoop up some meringue in one big dollop, size of a mango, and use the other spoon to scrape it off onto the lined baking tray. Repeat to make 5 more meringues. Make sure you leave space between each meringue as they will increase in size when baking.
- Sprinkle over the chopped pistachios.
- Place the tray into the preheated oven. Afterwards, turn down the oven to 110oC / Fan 90oC / Gas Mark 1/4.
- Bake the meringues for 1 hour. This will make sure the outside is completely firm and crunchy, while the inside is soft and sticky. You can bake for longer if you want more of a crunch.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray. Once cool, store in an airtight container in a dry place, at room temperature. They will for one–two weeks.
- We love serving these meringues with fresh berries and lashings of mascarpone cream. ENJOY…