Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I've been wanting to make a recipe for Strawberry Curd I saw on TasteSpotting since I have a ton of recently picked and frozen strawberries taking up nearly my whole freezer. But it called for three egg yolks, so I decided to pair it up with Meringue Cookies which would use up the leftover egg whites. The strawberry curd turned out excellent, but I'm not going to post that recipe since Hungry Cravings has it all ready to go: http://hungrycravings.blogspot.com/2009/07/strawberry-curd.html I defrosted some strawberries and then pulverized them in my mini-processor and strained it to get out most of the seeds. (Mom, I think you would really like this recipe!)
The meringue recipe is from Cook's Illustrated, and has always worked wonderfully--though a little less so this time because of the extremely high humidity (in which case it's more like a taffy when you try to eat it). Still, I'd highly recommend it when there is less humidity!
3/4 cup sugar (5.25 ounces)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 large egg whites
3/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch.
Beat egg whites, vanilla, and salt at high speed until soft peaks begin to form, 30 to 45 seconds. Reduce mixer to medium speed and gradually add sugar mixture in a steady stream. Stop mixing and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Return mixer to high speed and and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 30 to 45 seconds.
Place meringue in a large ziplock bag with 1/2 inch of the bottom corner cut off (or a pastry bag). Pipe meringues into little mounds about one inch high. They won't spread, so you can place them quite close together on the pan. Bake for one hour, rotating pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through cooking. Turn off oven and allow meringues to cool in the oven for at least one hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before eating (they are chewy when warm, but get crunchy when fully cooled).
Variations: Gently fold in 2 ounces of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate or instant espresso flakes into the meringue when you are done whipping.