Try making these delicious Seasonal Summer Meringues
Some time last summer, I think it was almost exactly a year ago I became obsessed with the idea that you MUST be able to make meringue/a pavlova without much fuss. Is meringue really this mythical sugary egg cloud that will never be achieved by mortals without a £400 stand mixer? I love pavlova, I look forward to Christmas at my partner’s house every year because his aunt makes an amazing one. However, she didn’t make it one year and for 5 months after I was still thinking about this pavlova that never materialised. So, I decided I would do my research and figure out how to make meringue with just a hand whisk and some yoga arms. Turns out, it is possible! Crucially you HAVE to use room temperature eggs, a balloon whisk, preferably a large metal bowl, some lemon juice (or vinegar) and believe that the wet, bubbly stage really will turn into stiff peaks.
For this recipe I have scaled down the pav a little and made individual nests with a fantastically easy filling, that really balances out the super sugary sweetness of the meringue. You can do any combination of “cream” and fruit, this one is coconut yogurt with lime zest and nectarines. I also recommend a vanilla yogurt and mango, or berries! Actual whipped cream is of course also great, but I must say I prefer this in summer, it’s super fresh and does not feel too heavy (like the December version). Happy whisking
Serves 6 people once or 2 people...3 times.
2 room temperature egg whites
A squeeze of lemon juice
50 g brown sugar
50 g white granulated sugar
400 g fruit of choice
350 g coconut yogurt
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of half a lime
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 140 degrees and prep a baking tray with non stick baking paper.
2. Make sure your bowl and whisk are exceptionally clean, I always wipe them down with some lemon juice or vinegar to make sure there is no fat residue from anything left on them as this will hinder the rise of the egg whites.
3. Split your eggs, adding the two egg whites to the bowl, add a squeeze of lemon juice or a bit of white/apple vinegar to help stabilise the peaks.
4. Whisk! When it's just past the really frothy stage, start to add the sugar gradually. I like to use half brown sugar as it gives the final baked nests this really lovely light caramel colour. I’d say the whole process should take you 15-20 minutes. When stiff peaks form and it’s super glossy, it's ready. I also like hand whisking as the danger of over whisking the egg whites is minimal.
5. Divide mixture into 6 equal sized blobs on the baking sheet. Then use a silicone spatula or a metal spoon to push out the middles, forming a little nest. Rustic is fine!
6. Put them in the oven and turn it down to 120 degrees. Bake for 1 hour, then switch off the oven and leave them for another 1-2 hours, till they are totally dried out. Transfer to wire rack. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
7. While the meringues bake/cool mix the lime zest into the coconut yogurt and prep whatever fruit you chose (I took the skin off the nectarines, you don’t have to), mix fruit with lime juice plus a pinch of salt, add sugar if so desired. The salt is magic and will really help bring out the sweetness of the fruit - I season all sweet things with a bit of salt.
8. Put each nest on an individual plate, top with a good blob of yogurt and then a sixth of the fruit mixture. Delicious.
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Sofie is a member at Studio 70 and writes a monthly food blog here. She loves making and sharing food with the people she loves - for her, it is the ultimate expression of kindness and care.