Thursday, October 22, 2009

Meringues aren't for breakfast

I’ve been eyeing a meringue recipe for days now. Finally, yesterday, when I felt my hands were steady enough to separate the whites without a speck of yolk, I dove in.

I made them with lemon zest, and they were beautiful in the oven. Their outsides puffed up crispy, while their insides caved in.

When they finally came out, I was unsure. Too soft? Now, too dry? I tested, sampled, and stuffed myself until I was miserable, full of sugar and immensely cranky (Andrew will attest). Worse, I had lost all perspective, and I couldn’t tell anymore if they were any good.

This morning, after yoga, and before eating anything else, I tested them again, with fresh eyes and a fresh stomach. Now I’m sure. These are good! Crunchy on the outside, slightly gooey on the inside, only interrupted by little zesty bursts of lemon.

This isn’t much of a recipe, because I’m sure you’ll find a meringue recipe in any basic cookbook. But here is what I learned:
-Be sure there isn’t any yolk or eggshell in your whites. The best way not to become insane is to use three bowls: one for your whites, one for your yolks, and one that you use to break and separate the egg into. Just slide the whites into to the larger bowl as you go. That way, if you screw up one egg, you won’t ruin the rest.
-Before you add the sugar, be sure your eggs are so stiff you could hold the bowl upside down, over your head.
-Before you fold in any flavouring, make sure the sugar has completely dissolved. The meringue should feel perfectly smooth between two fingers.
-Parchment paper works very nicely.


Annie.Roper said...

Now I want to make merignes! They had some lovely giant ones at Petit Thuet the other day. I think we should have a tasting.

Also, the kettle looks luverly

Mika said...

Someone, besides me, loves happy, sunny yellow these days!