Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Crisp Chewy Meringues

From: French Food at Home by Laura Calder

Makes: 16


4 egg whites
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (or other flavouring)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch


1. Whip the whites and salt into peaks, add the vanilla, and continue beating to stiff peaks. Stir the cream of tartar into the regular sugar and whisk into the whites very gradually, a spoonful at a time, until the meringue is stiff and the sugar has dissolved. Sift together the icing sugar and cornstarch. Sift over the meringue and gently fold until fully incorporated.

2. Pipe or spoon the meringues onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 225F until cream-coloured and crisp on top when tapped, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Remove from oven. Cool on the trays. Store in air-tight container.

Okay, so two entries for one day but then I kind of have a special reason. Last night when I got home there was a parcel on my doorstep. Inside the parcel was a copy of French Food at Home by Laura Calder. I won this book from the recipe club at foodtv.ca. So I thought I would post a copy of the recipe we made and the posting I sent in that I won with.

The posting:

From Sonja who used fresh eggs from her very own chickens:I decided to try the recipe exactly as written and made note of the suggestions by others (very sterile bowl, don't open the door, etc). This was my first attempt at meringues so I figured I better pay attention! The directions were easy to follow and I had no problem whipping them up to stiff peaks despite it being a humid day. I didn't have parchment paper but used my silicone baking sheets and they came off with no problems. I was scared to open the door too soon and they probably could have come out right at the 1 hour mark (I took out at 1 hr 15 min) but they were a very light cream colour just like the picture. The meringues definitely lived up to its crisp chewy name. I took them to a family dinner, and we tried them with a lime curd and with a chilled rhubarb/strawberry sauce with just a touch of sugar and poudre douce. The unanimous decision was that the meringues were a keeper (seconds were had by many), and requests to bring them by anytime and for the recipe were made.

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