Homemade Mini Meringues and Crème Anglaise!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE meringue cookies ever since I was a little girl.  I remember moments after school, when my grandmother would often surprise me with a paper bag full of meringue cookies.  She purchased them from a local market not too far away from our home in the Philippines.  Since then, meringue cookies have always been a part of my life.

Many, many years later, I would learn how to make my first homemade meringue cookies from my French mother-in-law (It does not get any better than that!).  Today, I would like to proudly think that I have come a long way from my first lesson.  So on this note, here is an ode to a childhood favorite…

Mini Meringues Pavlova and Eton Mess

Ingredients:

3 egg whites

pinch of salt

3/4 cup superfine sugar

1/2 tsp corn starch

1/2 lemon juice (I use fresh)

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 basket strawberries (you can also use a variety of berries, such as strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, if you wish)

This recipe is adapted from Australia, where it is called pavlova, after a Russian ballet dancer.  You can yield 4-8 depending on the size you choose to make them.  I made eight.  Keep in mind and just to give you a head’s up, this is a type of dessert to enjoy the next day.

Directions:

  • Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.  Draw 4 guide circles, each about 3 inches across.  Turn the parchment over–you should be able to see the circles
  • As you separate the egg whites, let it fall in a large bowl and save the yolks in a smaller bowl for a Crème Anglaise recipe I will also give you below.
  • Preheat the oven to 275 degree F (140 degree C).  Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk (with a handheld mixer, if you have one) to stiff peaks.  Whisk in 2 tbsp sugar and whisk back to stiff peaks, then whisk in another 2 tbsp sugar and whisk to stiff peaks again.
  • Fold in gently the remaining sugar, then sift over the corn starch and fold that in, too, along with the lemon juice.
  • Transfer the meringue to a piping bag with a large nozzle.  If you do not have a piping bag, take a large Ziploc or similar bag, fill that in and snip a tiny triangle-size hole on the corner of the bag.  This gives you the same effect as a piping bag.  Squeeze the meringue gently so not to break the plastic bag.  Another tip…if you don’t want to pipe the meringue, spoon it onto the parchment paper and shape it with the back of the spoon.
  • Pipe baskets of meringue on the baking parchment using your circles as guides.
  • Bake the baskets until the meringue is crisp on the outside and pale gold in color.  I live in the Sierras so everything bakes faster in higher altitudes.  It took only 10 minutes for me.  You will have to weigh in how long to bake the meringues in your area.  When done, leave the meringues in the oven until they completely cool, preferably overnight–which is what I did.

Whip the cream to soft peaks and spoon on top of the meringue.  Decorate with strawberries/mixed berries.

Crème Anglaise

I wanted to share this dessert tidbit with you as simply the way my French hubby likes to eat his Eton’s Mess/ Strawberries Pavlova 😉

Ingredients & Directions:

Utilizing the three egg yolks from your meringue recipe above, in a small sauce pan, simply add 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 tsp vanilla, egg yolks and  1 tbsp sugar to make this thick, lightly sweet, custard sauce.  Let it cool in the fridge overnight and enjoy the next day!  Crème Anglaise is a classic vanilla custard sauce.  NOTE:  You can adjust the measurements of my recipe above, depending on how much you want to make.  Bon Appétit–gcc

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