Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lightest Meringues

I love meringues and as they have no gluten or lactose they are a perfect snack for me.

I don't like them gooey or overly sweet and am uninterested in the fancy colored ones that have recently cropped up in the fancy pastry shops and French restaurants.

I hope that you will find these that I recently developed as addictive as I do.

Turn the oven to 150 degrees with two racks inside. Cover each of two cookie sheets with a layer of parchment paper.

Measure four egg whites. There should be a half cup. Place in mixer and start slowly to beat. Beat until frothy. Pour in a quarter cup of sugar and continue to beat. Increase speed to fullest. Beat until egg whites are very stiff. Now move quickly or the mixture will not stay ideally firm.

Use a pastry bag with a half-inch diameter nozzle. Spoon the stiff egg whites into the bag. Squeeze out into two-inch long strips so that they do not touch. Place both baking sheets in the oven and cook for an hour and a half. Turn off oven and leave meringues in oven for about another hour. They should be crisp and dry without being colored. Remove sheets from oven slide paper off onto a flat surface. Allow meringues to cool to room temperature. Slide a metal spatula or thin ham slicer under meringues to remove them from the paper.

Eat or store in a an air tight box. There should be about 54 meringues.

Three sheets can also be done at one time. The formula is one part by volume of egg whites to a half part sugar.

Don't get too confident. You really don't have very many. They go very quickly.

These are the meringues that I used lightly crushed to coat chunks of ripe but firm banana as a seduction.


Constancia said...

I've always loved meringues because, it seems to me, they are purely about pleasure. (Don't tell me that egg whites are protein--I don't care!) When I lived in Paris in the early 1980s, our local bakery had small flat meringues that looked like lady fingers but were called fairy fingers (doigts de fée) instead. Our favorites were lightly flavored with coffee, which was a great counterpoint to their sweetness. Can you suggest how I might add coffee to the meringue mixture?

Barbara said...

One can buy powdered (instant--not ground--espresso. Mix a small amount of the powder with the sugar. A quarter teaspoon should be about right; but you can play around with the quantity.