MERINGUE NESTS WITH MIXED BERRIES

MERINGUE NESTS WITH MIXED BERRIES

When choosing from a dessert menu, I always choose something simple.  It might be an apple tart, a lemon bar, or a plate of homemade cookies.  Simple is best. That’s why I love these sweet, crunchy meringue nests. You can’t get more basic than egg whites, sugar, a dash of cream of tartar and a sprinkling of vanilla.  Baked slowly at a low temperature, the result is a dessert that’s ready to dress up any holiday menu, dinner party or picnic. There are endless possibilities when it comes to filling this confection.  A couple of my favorites include: spooning whipped cream into each and then topping with a crown of mixed berries or a generous dollop a sweet-tart creamy lemon curd.  Top with a piece of shortbread for a finishing touch.

Meringue is a happy dessert. It always makes me smile. Perhaps it’s the marshmallow-like consistency when it’s mixing in the bowl or the snow-white color that reminds me of clouds; I think, it’s because of my love for the fun world of the irascible Amelia Bedelia and her sky-high lemon pies piled mile high with delicious meringue. 

Meringue Nests with Mixed Berries

This is really a simple dessert to make! Before you begin, make sure your egg whites are at room temperature, and don’t use the egg whites in a carton! To make sure you have even circles, take a piece of parchment paper and trace circles using either a cup or glass (the size of the circles will be decided by the size of the item you’re tracing.) Just remember to turn the paper over so you’re not putting the meringue on to the ink

Ingredients

  • 4 large Egg Whites room temperature

  • ½ teaspoon Cream of Tartar

  • 1 cup granulated Sugar

  • ½ teaspoon pure Vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place the traced outlined parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and mix on medium speed until just frothy – about 2 minutes, then add the Cream of Tartar and continue to mix until the egg whites become opaque. Slowly stream in the sugar and continue to mix on medium –high, add the vanilla and continue to mix for 3-5 minutes, add the or until your egg whites are shiny and dry with stiff peaks.

  2. Spoon meringue into either a plastic bag or piping bag. If you want, fit the bag with either a star or plain tip from an icing kit. With the baking sheet in front of you, dab some meringue under each corner of the parchment paper to keep it in place. Spread a bit of the meringue covering each circle; this provides a base to each nest, then, pipe the meringue clockwise around each circle base until you have your desired “height” (I usually go 2-3 times around).

  3. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for at least 2 hours or until the nests are dry to the touch. Turn off the heat and leave the nest in the oven until they’re cool to the touch. Remove each nest with an off-set spatula and fill as desired or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days