Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On Cloud 9 - Huckleberry Meringues

So before I was laid low by illness, I had thrown together a quick dessert. Quick being a relative term. I simply combined bits of two separate things to make something new.

I make soft meringue a lot. Mainly to be folded into dry ingredients in a foam cake or for Lemon Meringue Pie, but the beauty of Meringue is that, depending on the sugar ratio, it can be hard as a rock, crispy yet still melt on your tongue like a cloud plucked from the sky.

Soft meringues are usually based on an equal amount of sugar to egg whites, where as hard meringue usually contains up to 4 times sugar than egg white. They are then dried in a "slow" oven (being about 150-175 degrees) for about 2 hours, until hard and crisp. The nice thing is that these base shells will store for 2 weeks, if kept in a sealed container, away from moisture.

For a filling, I chose Huckleberries, 2 different ways. I first made my basic Huckleberry Sauce that I used on my Brussels Waffles a while back (Which is really a saucier version of what I use for my Huckleberry Tart). For Half of it, I folded in 1 cup of unsweetened Whipped Heavy Cream to lighten the texture. For the Second batch of Meringue shells, I simple added the tart filling and topped with A dollop of whipped cream.

Huckleberry Meringues

1/2 cup Egg Whites
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Cream of Tarter
1 3/4 cups Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 TB Distilled Vinegar

Beat egg Whites with Salt until foamy, then add the cream of tarter.

Continue beating until soft peaks are formed, then slowly add the sugar in a steady stream.

Once the sugar is incorporated, continue beating while adding the Vanilla Extract.

Finally, to stabilize the foam, add the Distilled Vinegar.

You're gonna have yourself a REALLY thick Meringue.

Move the mass into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

Pipe rounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Then Pipe stars around the edge to form a "pie shell"

Place in a 150-175 degree oven for about 2 hours to dry.
Voila! Hard Meringues.

Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Fill with your favorite filling such as Huckleberry, or Cherry Pie filling, even a cooked apple pie filling (though it's a little sweet), or better, Rhubarb pie filling (this cuts the sweetness of the meringues a little better)



elra said...

your meringues are so pretty and perfect! Wow!

Bob said...

Wow, those look amazing! I've never made meringue, it's something I really need to do.

Danielle said...

omg! how beautiful are those!!!