Bonjour à toutes et à tous!
Ah, meringue – the sweet, airy, and heavenly confection that has delighted taste buds for centuries. Bien sûr, when we think of meringue, we often associate it with the delicate and delicious French desserts that have made it famous worldwide. But have you ever wondered about the history, typical French recipes, and the importance of using organic eggs in creating these delightful treats? Join me on a journey through the world of meringue!
A Taste of History
Meringue’s story is as captivating as its taste. It originated in the early 17th century, and the French have truly embraced and elevated it to an art form. Many believe that the word “meringue” is derived from the Swiss village of Meiringen, where it was first documented in a recipe. The French then refined it, creating the delicate, melt-in-your-mouth version we adore today.
French Meringue Creations
When you think of French meringue, the first treat that comes to mind is the iconic “Pavlova,” a crisp yet chewy meringue shell filled with luscious whipped cream and fresh fruit. C’est magnifique! But that’s just the beginning. Tarte au Citron Meringuée, a lemon meringue tart, is a zesty and sweet delight that showcases the perfect balance of flavors. And let’s not forget about “Îles Flottantes” – islands of poached meringue floating in a sea of crème anglaise. These classics are beloved across France and beyond.
The Role of Organic Eggs in France
Now, let’s delve into the importance of using organic eggs when cooking in France. In this country of culinary excellence, organic farming practices are revered in this . Organic eggs, produced by hens raised with care, provide whites are more robust and stable, making for meringue that’s a chef’s dream. Plus, knowing that you’re using eggs from happy, well-treated hens adds an extra layer of satisfaction to your culinary creations.
Creating these airy wonders is an art form that has deep roots in French culinary tradition, and it’s no wonder why. With its rich history, delectable recipes, and a commitment to using the finest organic eggs, meringue continues to be a star in the world of desserts. So, whether you’re whipping up a classic Pavlova or trying your hand at a Tarte au Citron Meringuée, embrace the sweet magic of egg whites whipped with sugar – a taste of France that’s truly enchanting. Bien sûr, it’s worth savoring every delicious bite!
A bientôt! Et bonne cuisine!
Pavlova au prunes
For the meringue
- 4 egg whites
- Pinch salt
- 1 ¼ cups superfine sugar regular sugar will work in a pinch, although your meringue may be slightly gritty
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- vanilla extract
- 1 lb fresh fruit use what's in season
- Heat oven to 350℉.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 8-inch or 9-inch pan or plate as a template, draw a circle on the paper with a pencil. Flip the paper over so that the drawing is facing down (avoids getting pencil on your meringue).
- Using an electric mixer, combine the egg whites and salt on a low speed. Gradually increase the speed to high and beat until santiny peaks form.
- Gradually add the sugar (in a slow stream) until the meringue is very stiff and shiny.
- Sprinkle in the cornstarch, white wine vinegar, and vanilla. Gently fold with a spatula.
- Mound the meringue onto the center of the parchment paper. Using an offset spatula or a knife, shape the egg whites into circle. Try to make the top flat (it will hold the fresh fruit after the meringue is cooked). Leave the edges slightly irregular.
- Place the meringue in the preheated oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 275℉. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, keeping a close eye – through the closed oven door – during the last 15 minutes to ensure the meringue doesn't brown. Do not open the oven door while the meringue is baking or cooling.
- Turn off the oven and allow the meringue to cool for at least two hours. It is completely fine to leave the meringue in the oven overnight if you'd like.
- Carefully peel the cooled meringue off the parchment paper/ Transfer to a platter or cake stand. Top with fresh fruit, macerated fresh fruit, or a fruit compote. Finish the whole thing off with a nice dollop of whipped cream.