Whatever happened to the meringue desserts you could order from the dessert cart after a delicious meal?
...Come to think of it; where did dessert carts go?
Personally I love meringue when it is made correctly. I find that most meringues you find commercially are too sweet and mostly too dry OR they are simply made into macaroons which, albeit tasty, are frankly a trend more than a treat by now...a food fashion accessory is not my thing.
The perfect meringue is crackly sweet on the exterior and marshmallowy chewy on the inside, depending on the type of meringue and the type of dessert you're making.
It does seem daunting to make your own meringue at home, especially when it is a mostly ignored dessert in the food media. You rarely see a delicious, high def, #foodporn picture of a pavlova on Instagram and yet there are countless pictures of succulent chocolate cakes, frosting galore, chewy chocolate chip cookies etc.
I'm all for chocolate cakes and the best chewy cookies (which you can find a recipe for in our recipes section here at The Fine Magazine - here) but a delicious, crunchy, chewy, delicate meringue topped with clotted cream, fresh passion fruit or berries does not sound like an underrated dessert to me...
Bring back the homemade meringues! I'm begging you!
THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MERINGUE
This is an uncooked meringue where fine sugar is gradually beaten into the egg whites until they reach soft peaks and then whipped until firm peaks are achieved. This is the one most people are familiar with or have tasted. You can make those "oh-so" instagrammable cookies in all sorts of streaked or colored shapes or you can also make that pavlova I keep mentioning!
This meringue is made with sugar syrup heated to a soft-ball stage (236°F to 240°F) gradually beaten into the egg whites soft peaks and whipped until firm and glossy peaks are formed. This is the most stable of all meringues and is great for its deliciousness and smooth texture making it great for things like mousses or buttercreams.
This meringue is slightly denser, firmer, than the others. It's made by stirring sugar and egg whites together over a pot of simmering water before whisking them. This meringue is good for topping pies, and baking a crisp meringue cake.
OKAY HERE'S A QUICK RECIPE FOR PAVLOVA...
- 4 ounces pasteurized egg whites, room temperature
- Pinch kosher salt
- 6 ounces granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 cup clotted cream
- 1/2 cup of whipped cream
- 4 whole passion fruit's pulp (scooped out) or raspberries
- Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees F.
- Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and using a 9-inch round plate, trace a circle in the middle of the parchment and then turn over the parchment so you don't stain your meringue later.
- Place the egg whites with a pinch of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using the whisk attachment on high, whisk until stiff peaks form (usually 4 to 5 minutes)
- Reduce the speed to medium and slowly add the sugar. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bow when needed.
- Increase the speed to high and whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy and stiff peaks form.
- Decrease the speed to low and add the vanilla, vinegar, and cornstarch. Mix just to combine.
- Gently spoon the meringue onto the parchment and spread to fit the shape of the circle, forming a slight well in the center.
- Place the meringue into the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and leave in the oven for 3 hours then open the oven door and cool completely before removing from the oven.
- Once ready to serve: mix the clotted cream and whipped cream together along with the passion fruit pulp (if you're doing this with raspberries then just wait to use them on top of the dessert)
- Pour the cream mixture in the small well of the pavlova and top with fresh fruit (either more passion fruit pulp or fresh raspberries).
- Serve and enjoy!!!!
- Make it your mission to explore the world of homemade meringues and make America Meringue Again!
Do you make meringues at home? What kind? Comment below!!!!