Monday, May 21, 2012

Meringue Cups

It is Cake Slice time and I am happy to say that I actually got this month's recipe done on time.  Well, almost on time, I made it on the reveal date, but am getting it up a day late.  And since I am being honest I didn't really make the dessert, Maggie did.

This month the winning recipe was Tish Boyle's Meringue Cups with Lime Cream and berries.  This is one of those desserts that looks very impressive, but is super easy to make.  Another plus is that it can be made ahead of time and then assembled quickly at dessert time.


I also love this dessert because it is great to make with kids.  I worked with Maggie and she made the meringue and cut the berries pretty much by herself, while I did the lime curd.  Separating eggs is a great task for kids.  It is an opportunity to play with food that is oohy and gross.  Just remember to use 3 bowls when separating so if a yolk breaks it does not ruin your whites.


I like to use the hand mixer when making small batches of meringue.  It is much easier to watch the whites transform from a thick gelatinous liquid to soft billowy peaks when using a hand mixer.  I would also recommend that if you haven't done it in a while to take the time to whisk up egg whites the old fashioned way - by hand with a metal whisk in a copper bowl.  It is a really neat experience to feel the transformation of the white.


Meringue is also great for practicing piping skills.  It is easy for small hands to squeeze out and I think the cups look even better in funky shapes, it gives more surface for the cream and berries to cling to.




The curd can be a little trickier for kids, but it isn't that difficult if you are willing to stand at the stove and stir while it cooks and thickens.  Let the curd cool, then just before serving lighten it with a little whipped cream.

As I said this is a great dessert for your repertoire.  It is wonderful any time of year topped with whatever fresh or frozen fruit you have available.  But the thing I love best about it is the joy on the chef's face when it is presented.