Oddly enough, meringues, which are simple enough to cook once you have the right recipe, are often tarred with the ‘too hard’ brush, especially by home cooks. Well, all that’s about to change with Poh’s recipe shattering all the myths and making it easy for everyone to produce the most beautiful batches of meringues to great applause from family and friends.
Her latest cookbook, Poh Bakes 100 Greats, is an ode to the sweet-tooth, full of gorgeous recipes that will help you perfect some of the dessert classics as well as enjoying a few culinary adventures with some new, yummy flavours. And her meringues with infusions of Rosewater and Pistachio woven through clouds of fluffy meringue – oh my!
The best thing about these delightful ‘bites’ is that they can be customised by their maker. Depending on your piping skills and needs, these meringues can go from a dinner party must-have to a caterer’s secret weapon. Whip them out at your next gathering and see how fast they go.
Rosewater Pistachio Meringues
We whip up a lot of custards at our café, Jamface, and the tons of surplus egg whites are the reason we started making these. One thing I’ve discovered is that meringues have a magical way of making adults go all cute and gleeful. Ours are on the larger side, but you can pipe delicate little rosettes or domes instead. However, you’ll need to alter the cooking time, which might take some experimenting. Just ensure any vessels and utensils you use are squeaky clean – the tiniest bit of oil, moisture or egg yolk will interfere with the meringue whipping up properly.
Makes about 10 large meringues
250 g (9 oz) egg whites
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
Half of one teaspoon rosewater
Pink food colouring
2–3 tablespoons finely chopped pistachio nut kernels
Preheat the oven to 130°C (250°F) fan-forced. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
To make the meringues, whisk the egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl until combined. Sit the bowl over a large saucepan filled one-third with simmering water, and stir with a whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved – you’ll find the mixture turns clear when this happens. If you aren’t sure, rub the mixture between your fingers, to detect any undissolved grains.
Transfer the mixture to an electric stand mixer with a whisk attachment, and whisk on high speed until the mixture has cooled completely – about 10 minutes. You can gauge this by just touching the outside of the mixing bowl. Fold in the rosewater and enough food colouring to stain the meringue a pale pink until combined.
Spoon tennis ball–sized amounts of meringue onto the prepared baking trays, and sprinkle with the pistachios. Reduce the oven temperature to 100°C (200°F) fan-forced, and bake for one and a half hours. You’ll end up with a crunchy outer shell, but the inside of the meringues will be soft and marshmallowy.