It is likely that you have made meringue
at some time or other. Typically ones' first exposure to meringue
is in a Lemon Meringue Pie. Although meringue does make a
great topping for pies, it is also wonderful in many other
types of desserts from cakes to meringue mushrooms used to
de Noel or Yule Logs.
Meringue is very simply, egg whites beaten
with sugar. Finished textures can differ greatly and are created
by the ratio of eggs to sugar and the temperature and length
of baking time. Crisper meringues are baked at a low temperature,
200 degrees F. for longer periods of time, up to 2 hours,
to dry out the meringue. Meringue baked at 275 degrees F for
half the amount of time will result in a dry meringue on the
outside and a wetter or marshmallow texture on the inside.
A few years ago, we prepared a recipe that
we called, 'Meringue
Clouds w/Fresh Nectarines'. So named because that is exactly
what it reminded us of, delicate clouds of meringue topped
with fresh sweetened fruit and a dollop of sweetened creme
fraiche. The dessert is delightful, easy to make and versatile.
This month we bring you two new variations
on the same idea, 'Caramelized
Banana Meringue Dessert' and 'Lemon
These are great desserts to serve for guests
as the meringue bases should be made ahead. Just before you're
ready to serve, simply top with fruit, a mousse or curd and
a dollop of whipped cream and you've got a fabulous dessert
perfect for spring or summer entertaining.