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meringues with fresh cream and seasonal fruit

Meringues are always a crowd pleaser for adults and children alike.  Meringues can be made with relative ease though many people feel they are complex.  It could not be less true-simple ingredients of caster sugar and egg whites with a pinch of salt.  What dessert creates something so lovely, puffy, fluffy and sweet without so few ingredients?  The recipe here is topped with fresh cream and fruit but you can also serve with ice cream or just fresh fruit.

meringues with fresh cream and seasonal fruit

Meringues are always a crowd pleaser for adults and children alike.  Meringues can be made with relative ease though many people feel they are complex.  It could not be less true-simple ingredients of caster sugar and egg whites with a pinch of salt.  What dessert creates something so lovely, puffy, fluffy and sweet without so few ingredients?  The recipe here is topped with fresh cream and fruit but you can also serve with ice cream or just fresh fruit.

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Ingredients

Recipe serves: 8
8 egg whites from large eggs this is about 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of egg whites
1 1/3 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup or large handful shelled and bashed pistachios optional but I always add for a kick, and people try to guess what the flavors are
zest of 2 lemons
pinch of salt
fresh mint leaves for garnish
whipped cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
topping
3 cups fresh seasonal fruit with touch of sugar (if necessary)
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thoughts&stories

I really like the recipes of Jamie Oliver because they are fool proof. Here are some of his best suggestions:

  • Make sure your mixing bowl is very clean, you can put some hot water in it to make sure it is free of any fat or unwanted particular of whatever.
  • Meringues are made with egg whites and do not like fat—as above make sure everything you use is sparkly clean
  • You can make meringues to be chewy by baking for 1 hour, or more crispy by baking for two hours, turning off oven and leaving them in the oven with the oven door slightly open.
  • Caster sugar is king in meringues- the granules are much finer than granulated sugar. If you use granulated the meringue becomes flat (I have had this happen on many occasions!).  If I do not have caster sugar, take granulated sugar and blitz in a food processor.

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meringues with fresh cream and seasonal fruit
  • time
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • serves
    8
  • skill level
    Medium

Ingredients

  • whipped cream

Directions

1
Done

Preheat oven to 300F (170C)

2
Done

Cover a large baking pan- 13 x 17 inches or you can you two smaller ones with parchment paper. Set aside.

3
Done

Place the egg whites in the mixing bowl of electric mixer and beat with whisk attachment on medium speed until egg whites are in soft peaks. It should take about two minutes and you know they are done by removing the mixing bowl and turning it upside down without anything falling out.

4
Done

With mixer on medium speed slowly pour in the caster sugar until all incorporated, and then toss in a pinch of salt.

5
Done

Set a timer for 8 minutes.

6
Done

Turn mixer on the highest setting and whip the mixture until it is gorgeous and glossy. You can tell it is done when you put some mixture between your thumb and index finger and no longer feel granules. Do not overmix or the meringue can flop but if you set timer all is fine.

7
Done

Add lemon zest and chopped pistachios into the the meringue and mix with a rubber spatula.

8
Done

Glue the parchment paper to the baking sheet by dabbing the corners baking sheet with a little meringue.

9
Done

With parchment paper secure, place the meringue on baking sheet and spread out- like a brownie batter. Try to make even and not too close to edge as it can puff up over, not that it really matters.

10
Done

Pop in the oven on middle rack and cook for 1 hour for chewy, or 2 hours for crispy.

11
Done

Whipped cream

In an electric mixer or with hand held, place heavy cream in mixing bowl with vanilla extract and whip into a light, loose cream. Refrigerate until needed.

12
Done

To finish, keep the meringue whole and top with cream and seasonal fresh fruit. Or you can break up meringue in a mixing bowl and add the cream and fruit, then scoop into individual serving bowls. Top with fresh mint for a little contrast in color.