Friday, November 5, 2010

Meringue Nests with Blackberries and Cream


Aren't these blackberries gorgeous?  They were on sale at the market and while I used some of them in the apple-blackberry crisp I made last weekend, I still had some to use.  My mum came to visit again and I thought I'd try something special for dessert one evening.  We made crispy, airy, sweet meringue nests with these luscious blackberries and fresh whipped cream.  I guess this is sort of a version of a pavlova, but mini ones. I think pavlovas are typically one large meringue cake with cream and fruit. These are individual little nests made of meringue.  I guess I just like the idea of a nest anyway...it makes everything sound cozy.

The meringue is very easy to make.  I've made it before, but this was my first attempt at nests. I whipped the egg whites, sugar and some vanilla and got this thick glossy meringue.


I spooned these heaping mounds of meringue on the Silpat.  The original recipe called for eight nests and I didn't seem to have room, so I had five pretty large nests.


Then, I took the back of a spoon to hollow out the center (with still leaving a layer in the nest) and smoothed the edges a bit. 

Here they are ready to bake. I know many people pipe them onto the baking sheet, but I sort liked the homemade swirled look to mine.


After two hours of baking at just over 200 degrees, they were all ready and peeled right off the Silpat.  I washed the berries and let them dry so that they wouldn't make wet pools in the meringue nests when I put them together.


Our evening treat was ready with a bunch of berries nestled in the meringue and topped with a big dollop of whipped cream.  It's a very simple dessert that would be easy to prep ahead of time and use with all kinds of fruits.  The flavors were uncomplicated, yet fresh and sophisticated.




Recipe for Meringue Nests


Ingredients:
3 egg whites
175 g/6 oz caster (superfine) sugar
A few drops of vanilla essence (extract)

Lay a Silpat or piece of parchment on a baking (cookie) sheet. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add 1 tbsp of the sugar and the vanilla and whisk again until stiff and glossy. Gradually whisk in half the remaining sugar, then fold in the remainder with a metal spoon. Spoon five to eight round heaps of the mixture a little apart on the baking sheet and hollow out slightly in the centers to form nests. Rough up the mixture slightly round the tops. Bake in a preheated oven at 225°F for 2-3 hours or until crisp but still white. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Carefully lift off the paper and store in an airtight container.

Wash the fruit to fill them in advance and dry in a bowl with paper towel.

For the whipped cream, use 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with a tablespoon of caster sugar and whip on high until thick and creamy.

4 comments:

  1. I came across your site from the foodieblogroll and I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site. I hope you could add this meringue widget at the end of this post so we could add you in our list of food bloggers who blogged about meringue , Thanks!

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  2. Thanks for your meringue recipe the possibilities are endless really of what you could do with these little nests. Love the presentation, thanks again.

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  3. I'm glad you like them! Alisa - I've added the meringue widget to the blog - thanks!

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  4. Hello,


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