These days I feel like cooking, and I mostly feel like cooking sweets. I made a yogurt cake for breakfast the other day, I am getting ready to make some cupcakes, and yesterday I decided I wanted to bake meringues.
Now… the thing is I don’t even particularly like meringue. But the first and only time I tried to make it, the result was “less than satisfactory” to use a euphemism… (a disaster…). So when I stumbled on an older post by Giulia on her her beautiful blog Juls’ Kitchen, Ginger Meringues, I knew it was time for a second attempt. Truth be told, I had been thinking about it for a while, at least since I saw her Pavlova with strawberries… but yesterday it seemed the perfect day.
It was essentially the first day of summer weather here in our corner of Tuscany. We packed up and moved to my parents’ house in the countryside for the day, and since they were not there, we had it all to ourselves. We had the full afternoon to relax and read in the garden, under the oak trees. We took a short walk with the dog, I baked my meringues and prepared a nice filet with green peppercorns and roast potatoes for dinner… It felt like being on holiday!
Back to my meringue recipe then!
- 3 egg whites (I used super fresh eggs… and when I say “super fresh”, I mean that the hen was still sitting on them when I got them)
- a pinch of salt
- 150 grams of regular sugar (50 gr. per egg white)
- a few drops of lemon juice
I got rid of the egg yolks and put the egg whites in a very clean glass container (there must be no traces of grease). I whipped them for 3 minutes with an electric whisk at a very low speed. When the whites started to froth, I added the pinch of salt and mixed some more. I then started to slowly add the sugar one bit at the time, and kept mixing at a low speed for 5 more minutes. I then added the lemon juice and increased the speed of the mixer for 5 more minutes until the meringue cream was smooth and so thick that it would not drop from the mixer’s whisks when I took them out of the bowl.
I preheated the oven bringing the temperature to 100°C (212°F). I then covered a flat baking tin with baking paper poured the meringue cream in a pastry bag and made lots of little meringues (which in my village are called “signorine“, meaning “young ladies“!).
I put them in the oven and I left the door slightly ajar (10cm) so that the temperature could go down and the humidity could come out. I cooked the meringues for 2 hours, turned the oven off, open the door and let them sit in the oven until they cooled down.
The result was very good! I think the fresh, room temperature egg whites might have had something to do with it. Next time I think I will cook them for slightly less time, so that they remain softer inside.
I think what also made the difference from my failed first attempt was the egg beating at a very low speed, which allows the air to really get in there, and the oven door left slightly open for the humidity to get out.
Ok… now I will have to go eat one…! Let me know if you try!