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Pornchai Mittongtare Photo by: Pornchai Mittongtare

Berry Meringues

You can make the meringues (through step 4) up to 1 day ahead; cool completely, then wrap airtight and store at room temperature. Prep and cook time: about 1 1/2 hours, plus at least 2 hours to cool.

Sunset AUGUST 2005

  • Yield: Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites (1/2 cup) or 1/2 cup refrigerated pasteurized egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup plus about 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries (or some of each)
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 225°.

2. In a large bowl, with a mixer (preferably fitted with wire-whisk attachment) on high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl occasionally, until stiff, shiny peaks form (see tip 2 below).

3. Line two 12- by 15-inch baking sheets with cooking parchment or coat sheets with cooking-oil spray or butter. Mound meringue in eight equal portions (a scant 1/2 cup for each) on sheets, spacing at least 3 inches apart. Shape each into a 4-inch round (follow tip 3 below).

4. Bake in preheated oven until meringues sound hollow when tapped and feel firm to the touch, about 1 1/2 hours (1 1/4 hours in convection heat); switch sheet positions halfway through baking. Turn heat off and leave meringues in closed oven until completely cool, 2 to 2 1/2 hours longer. Remove from sheets.

5. Shortly before serving, rinse and drain berries; pat dry with a towel. In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat whipping cream just until soft peaks form. Turn mixer to low and beat in sugar to taste (about 2 tablespoons).

6. Set meringues on dessert plates. Top with whipped cream and berries.

Tips for the perfect meringue

1. A wire-whisk attachment introduces air evenly into whites and creates small bubbles, which are both stronger and more flexible. Make sure the bowl and beaters are clean; any fat can interfere with the formation of the foam.

2. Beating the whites with an acid, like cream of tartar or vinegar, helps coagulate the egg-white protein. You want stiff, shiny peaks. The mixture should feel smooth when you rub it between your fingers.

3. Shape meringue mixture into bowl-shaped rounds with a small, thin spatula. The edges should be a little higher than the centers.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 242
  • Calories from fat: 36%
  • Protein: 2.7g
  • Fat: 9.5g
  • Saturated fat: 5.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 39g
  • Fiber: 3.3g
  • Sodium: 35mg
  • Cholesterol: 33mg
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Berry Meringues Recipe

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