Strawberry season is upon us! It’s perhaps a little early still, but my local supermarket had a “two for 5 euros” thing going on so I caved and bought almost a kilo worth of strawberries. Cue me stressing about what on earth I was going to do with that many strawberries… One brainstorming session later, this recipe was born! As well as a very delicious muffin recipe, by the way, but I’ll post that one next week (or the week after, who knows).
With these meringues I actually wanted to go for a strawberry swirl kind of thing, but I ended up with more of a pink glow because I mixed a little too long. I still think they look really cute, though, and I was surprised by how much they actually taste like strawberry! I love regular meringues too, but this fruity addition definitely kicks it up a notch. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and that sweet strawberry flavour – these were gone in no time, I can tell you that!
So, onto the recipe…
You’ll need… (for 20-30 meringues)
- 2 egg whites
- double the weight of the egg whites in fine sugar
- optional: a pinch of cream of tartar
- a pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of vanilla aroma
- 100 g fresh strawberries, pureed
- piping bag + nozzle (I used a round one, but you could also use a star nozzle)
- baking tray lined with parchment paper
- a blender or food processor
- a free-standing mixer or good hand mixer
- and an oven, of course! These meringues need to be baked at 100 °C (don’t forget to preheat your oven!)
So, let’s get baking!
1. Make sure your equipment is grease-free If you want your meringue to succeed, you always need to make sure your equipment is completely grease-free before your start. Take a paper towel and moisten it with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice. Then, use the paper towel to wipe your bowls, whisk (attachment) and spatulas.
2. Whisk egg whites, cream of tartar and salt Put the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt together in a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) and whisk on a low speed. After a few minutes, big bubbles will start to appear in the egg whites, which is your cue to put the mixer on a higher speed. Keep mixing it on a medium to high speed until it’s gone stiff and white. If you can keep the bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out, you’re done. If the egg whites are still too soft, keep mixing until you’ve achieved the desired stiffness.
3. Add sugar Once you’ve made sure the egg whites are stiff enough, put it back on a high speed. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time so you don’t knock the air out of the egg whites. When you’ve added all of the sugar, keep on mixing for another 8 minutes.
4. Add vanilla After the 8 minutes are up, your meringue should be smooth and glossy. Add the vanilla aroma and mix on high speed for another few minutes.
5. Add strawberry puree Blitz up the strawberries into a puree using a blender or food processor. Now, very gently fold the puree through the meringue. If you want to create a swirl effect you should fold as few times as possible.
6. Pipe the meringues Line your baking tray with parchment paper. To make things easier for yourself, you can stick the paper to the tray using a tiny bit of the meringue mixture. That way, the paper won’t move when you’re piping the meringue. Next, fit your piping bag with your preferred nozzle. Spoon the mixture into the piping bag and then pipe the meringues onto the baking tray, holding the piping bag vertically above the tray. You can make them however small or large as you like. Mine were about three or four centimetres in diameter each. You don’t have to leave too much room between the meringues since they won’t expand much (if at all).
7. Bake! When you’ve piped all of your meringues, put the trays into your preheated oven and bake the meringues for 50-60 minutes. You can test whether they’re done by trying to pick them up off the paper. If they come loose (relatively) easily, they’re done! The strawberry puree will cause them to remain a little bit sticky, though, even once they’ve cooled off. After turning off the oven, you can leave the meringues inside it to dry out some more, but this isn’t necessary.
And that’s it! You’ve got your own delicious strawberry meringues – enjoy!