Grab your mixing bowl or hand beater (or whisk, if you want some exercise) and let’s talk meringues.
To start, be sure your egg whites are completely fat-free (i.e. there should be no yolk remnants in sight). If your whites aren’t forming a foam as you whisk them, stray fat might be the culprit.
Then, let your egg whites and the bowl reach room-temperature. (You want cold cream and a cold bowl for making whipped cream, but just the opposite for making a meringue!) It will take several minutes of whisking to fully dissolve the sugar into the egg whites. You’ll know your meringue is ready to do when you lift the mixers and a stiff peak forms.
As for the fruit, I used what was in season at the time — strawberries and raspberries. Perhaps you have some melons or apples instead. Those would be just as delicious!
Fruity Summer Meringue
- 8 strawberries
- 1 1/2 apricots
- several raspberries
- 1 cup egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Sweet Seasons Spice Blend (or ½ teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice Powder)
- 4 sprigs mint
- 4 tablespoons bitter orange coulis
- Wash the fruit in tepid water to remove any sand that covered them. Place on towels and allow to dry at room temperature.
- Pre-heat broiler to high with rack near the top.
- In a room-temperature mixing bowl, whisk egg whites. (Egg whites should also be room-temperature.) Add sugar and continue whisking. Your meringue is ready when the sugar has completely combined and the mixture comes to a sturdy peak -- approx. 5 minutes.
- Treat oven-safe gratin dishes with non-stick spray. Add fruit to the dishes. Spoon meringue on top of the fruit, over the middle of the dish so the fruit is exposed on the exterior.
- Place gratin dish on the lower level of the broiler. Cook until the meringue caramelizes and turn brown. This will happen quickly -- 3-4 minutes.
- Garnish with bitter orange coulis and fresh mint, and serve with candied orange slices.