Monday, April 17, 2017

Nut Meringues with strawberry topping

Adapted from Linda Amster, The New York Times Passover Cookbook
serves 6

I needed a flourless dessert recipe for Passover, and this was perfect.  But it would be great at any time of the year as a light dessert.

The pine nuts add a lovely flavor to the meringues, though I'd suggest mentioning their presence to guests to be sure they notice.  Given the price of pine nuts, you could try substituting chopped pecans or walnuts.

nut meringues
2 large egg whites
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 cup minus 1/2 T. sugar
1/2 cup pine nuts (left whole)

1.     Preheat the oven to 225F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.     In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Add the vanilla and continue beating.
3.     When the whites are forming peaks, add the sugar, about 1 T. at a time, beating constantly.  When the whites are stiff and smooth, fold in the nuts.
4.     Drop the meringue off a large spoon onto the parchment paper-covered baking sheet, making six large circles of meringue.  Using the back of a spoon, press down in the center of each circle to shape each meringue into a "nest" for the strawberries.
5.     Bake for 1 hour.  If the meringues begin to take on color, turn off the oven and let the meringues remain in the oven until dry.
6.     After the meringues have cooled a bit, remove them from the paper with a spatula, and let cool further on a cooling rack.
7.     If making more than a day in advance, you can store in an airtight container until ready to use.

I served the meringues with a strawberry/orange mixture recommended in the cookbook, given below.  But the next time, I'll try the strawberries with honey-balsamic sauce, given below that.

1 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 large navel oranges
2 T. orange-flavored liqueur (Triple Sec, Sabra, etc.)
2 t. orange zest
2 T. sugar
pinch of cinnamon

1.     Put the sliced strawberries in a large bowl. 
2.     Zest one of the oranges and set aside the zest. 
3.     Peel the oranges, cut out the sections, and cut each section in half (or leave whole if desired).  Add oranges to strawberries and then squeeze the orange juice into the bowl.
4.     Just before serving, add the orange zest and a dusting of cinnamon.
5.     Put one meringue on each plate and top with strawberry/orange mixture.


1 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced
1-1/2 T. sugar
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
2" piece cinnamon stick
2 T. honey

Combine the strawberries and sugar; chill.
Bring the balsamic vinegar and cinnamon stick to a boil.  Cook until syrupy and reduced in half (about 5-6 minutes). Remove from heat, discard the cinnamon, and add the honey.

Put the strawberries on top of the meringues, and then drizzle about 2 t. of sauce over each serving.

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