Pistachio meringues with summer berries recipe

Posted on January 30, 2012

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January in Melbourne is always very hot, but thankfully this year we haven’t yet had to endure a whole week full of 40°C+ scorchers! Which is actually quite uncharacteristic of our fair city. Hmm hope I didn’t jinx us with that statement…regardless we have still been clocking up mid 30s for the past few days. I’d been hankering to make something sweet in the last week, but hot summers and rich desserts don’t go together all the well. Then I remembered the light airy pistachio meringues with whipped cream and fresh berries my friend picked up from Phillippa’s (a well known bakery with its flagship stores in Armadale and Brighton and a smaller outlet shop in the CBD). They were absolutely delightful and great for summer. How did I forget that I’ve been meaning to recreate it?

My search led me to the BBC Good Food site; a tiny bit of tweaking later and viola.

The original recipe claims to serve 4, but unless you have super hungry people to feed, I believe you can get 6 substantial sized (~12 – 15cm diameter) meringues from this recipe. For a smaller treat, you could make 12 meringues, which would probably be a size more akin to what Phillippa’s sell. The recipe also required white wine vinegar and golden caster sugar; items I didn’t have handy in my pantry, so I substituted them with more common white vinegar and caster sugar which seemed to work fine for me.

RECIPE – Pistachio meringues with summer berries (serves 6)

(original recipe found from BBC Good Food)

Ingredients

  • 85g toasted and shelled pistachios (I toasted the pistachios in a dry fry pan on low to medium heat. It will only take a few minutes)
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200mL thickened cream, whipped (the BBC recipe used creme fraiche instead)
  • 250g berries of your choice

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 130°C.
  2. Blitz the pistachios in a food processor until coarsely ground.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until the egg is stiff and glossy.
  4. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of ground pistachios and fold the remaining into the meringue mixture.
  5. Mix together cornflour and vinegar to form a paste, then stir it through the meringue mixture. The cornflour and vinegar mixture is what makes the meringues crisp on the outside but soft and marshmallow like in the centre.
  6. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Spoon the meringue into 6 large discs. Using the back of a spoon, try to hollow out the middle of the discs.
  7. Bake for about 40 minutes on the lowest oven rack. Leave the meringues to cool in the oven after you’ve turned off the heat. I’ve learnt that the key to making meringues is that it’s not really a cooking process, rather a drying process. So low oven and keep the meringues in there until they’ve cooled on their own, otherwise you may run the risk of them collapsing if you shock them by moving them out of a hot environment into a cold environment immediately.

To serve, whip 200mL of thickened cream. Spoon cream into the centre of meringues, sprinkle with reserved ground pistachios and top with seasonal berries. Perfect sweet to enjoy in the summer sun.

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