On July 4th this year I started to blog my family recipes and stories for my family and friends. I am in another country from most of you. It is not as good as sitting around a table and eating and yarning with you all but I feel a little closer to you documenting the stories and sharing my food this way, whilst taking you through the gates of our little farm for tiny tiki tours. AND along the way I discovered that my family is growing and I am making new friends and renewing connections with my old friends!. SO for you all .. (bow).. here is a 2 month blog birthday surprise. Just in time for your labor day desserts and pre-spring picnics in jackets and hatties. Drum roll please!! I believe TA DA is the appropriate word. I made you MERINQUES!
Marvellous Merinques. And they are so delish! Oh no. Poor you. What a mean gift. You cannot tap them or smell them or bite them to feel the crackle and then chew the melty bit inside. What a cruel woman I am. (chomp, chomp, lick fingers, swallow, smack of sugary lips).
However all is not lost. I do not have to smash them flat and send them in a card for you. I will show you how to make them. And when you make an enormous mess, crunching your way through them, you can sing happy blog birthday, celi. Now keep in mind that my mother spent years perfecting making merinques. So we must be respectful. Solemn faces please. Like me she had a gas stove, but she found a way and I will share it with you. And I heard a few of you have been bemoaning your fate at having an electric oven but the good news is merinques cook better using dry electricity.
Now this has been a heavily guarded secret family recipe (though not as heavily guarded and secret as the pavlova)- so, ssshh, don’t tell anyone.
They are remarkably easy and very fast in the prep.
I told you they were simple. That is your total ingredients list!
Whisk egg whites until fluffy and proud. With beater still going strong – trickle the sugar in as slowly as you can, no – even slower than that – add half the sugar and beat until peaky. Mix the baking powder with the last of the sugar and slowly FOLD this in. You are adding air. Now with a teaspoon and a twist to get that dear little peak, pop little meringues onto a buttered and floured baking (cookie) sheet.
Into the oven at 250 for 10 minutes then turn down to 150 for one to two hours (if they start to brown turn the oven down some more), until they move across the sheet when you push them and are hard on the outside. Then turn the oven off. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR AGAIN. Leave to cool in there. When the oven is quite cold you can retrieve them, in an electric oven you can leave them in overnight!
I so look forward to seeing what you eat these little darlings with. They are wonderful with all kinds of desserts. But for me. I eat them with freshly whipped, heavy, whole, decadent, real, unsweetened whipped cream, (from a cow) using nothing but my sticky fingers and drinking a glass of cold fruity Sangria with lots of lemon from Kay. See summer is not coming to an end! No more of that talk!
Now, these are simple, but every oven will cook differently so sometimes you need to tweak the times and temps. But always turn off at the end and leave in there to cool. They store very well in a sealed container, or lovely glass jar.
Have fun. Have a great weekend.