Meringues (besides being a tad annoying to spell) have been a dessert left to the professionals until I came across this recipe. Papaya, strawberries, orange zest mixed in a simply sugar syrup on top of a fluffy meringue (with hints of cinnamon and ginger…)
Wow, what’s not to love?
Merginues may look intimidating to make but they aren’t so tough afterall. This recipe doesn’t have the usual suspects of corn starch or cream of tartar (goodbye bitterness), just mile-high poofs of egg whites and sugar.
Adapted from cooksillustrated.com
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup large egg whites from about 4 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh strawberries , hulled and sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest from 1 small orange
1 papaya, small , small, peeled, halved, and seeded; each half halved crosswise and sliced thin
1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat oven to 225 degrees.
2. Sift 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with confectioners’ sugar; set aside.
3. Place egg whites in large bowl of electric mixer. Using whisk attachment, whip them on low speed just until frothy. Increase speed to medium, sprinkle in 2 tablespoons reserved granulated sugar, and continue whipping to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/3 cup reserved granulated sugar; continue whipping to stiff, glossy peaks. Stop mixer; rub some meringue between your fingers. If smooth, proceed to next step. If still grainy, continue beating until smooth.
4. Sprinkle sifted powdered-sugar mixture, ginger, and cinnamon over meringue; fold in with rubber spatula until just incorporated.
5. Use a compass or large bowl or glass to trace 4-inch circles on parchment paper. Lay parchment on baking sheet and dab a small quantity to tack down corners of parchment paper while you work. Use the back of a spoon to carefully spread about 1/2 cup meringue inside each traced circle. Still using the spoon, form an indentation in the center, forming a decorative cup about 1/4 inch thick in the center and 1-inch high around the edge. Shape a couple of 1 1/2 inch disks with the spoon and remaining meringue. These extra meringues are used to test for doneness.
6. Bake meringues, switching positions of baking sheets after 30 minutes, until one of test samples releases easily from paper and snaps crisply after 5 minutes of cooling, 60 to 80 minutes. Once sample is crisp when tested, remove baking sheets from oven and place on cooling racks until meringues are room temperature, about 30 minutes. Carefully remove cooled meringues from paper. Set aside until ready to fill. (Can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.)
7. Toss berries, sugar, and orange zest in small bowl; let stand until light syrup forms, about 30 minutes. Add papaya and toss gently.
8. Place one meringue shell on each serving plate. Divide fruit and syrup among shells. Serve immediately. Garnish with whip cream if desired.