Maggie Cooper's almond meringues.
Maggie Cooper's almond meringues.

The sweet treat to use up your leftover egg whites

A recent bout of productivity in my kitchen, thanks to an overladen lemon tree, saw me with a fridge full of lemon and lime curd, and lots of egg whites staring me in the face.

Now, I'm not one for throwing food out, and I had no need to make a pavlova (usually my first choice). What else can you make? Yolks can be used in many different recipes, but whites are a little more restricted.

My solution was a batch of tiny almond meringues, perfect for making an Eton mess or as a sweet treat with a cup of coffee or tea.

These will keep in an airtight container for several weeks (don't refrigerate).

ALMOND MERINGUES

Makes: 48

INGREDIENTS

Whites from 6 large free-range eggs at room temperature (use yolks elsewhere); pinch of salt; 350g caster sugar; 1 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla essence; 3/4 cup almond meal

METHOD

Preheat oven to 100C. Brush two baking sheets with water and stick a piece of baking paper to each. Place egg whites and salt in a large, clean and dry mixing bowl.

Using a stand or hand-held electric mixer, whisk on high speed until frothy and starting to increase in volume. Add vanilla paste or essence, and the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until all sugar is incorporated and the mixture is thick and glossy. If you rub a little of the mixture between thumb and forefinger, it should be smooth; if it feels gritty it means the sugar hasn't properly dissolved.

Gently fold through almond meal and transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a rosette nozzle (you may need to do this step in two batches). Pipe small rosettes on to prepared baking trays, leaving 1-2 cm between each meringue. You can also shape with two spoons.

Bake meringues at 100C for two hours, swapping shelves halfway through. When the time is up, turn off heat and prop oven door slightly open with a chopstick or similar; leave meringues in the oven until completely cool (about an hour).

maggies.column@bigpond.com



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