I love any kind of meringue. Pavlova, vacherin, lemon meringue pie or plain old little meringues which are bursts of sweet airiness.
Little meringues are quick and easy to make. There are a myriad of things you can do with them – serve them on their own, make meringue sandwiches with a cream filling, flavour them, colour them, or pile them high into a meringue mountain which is my favourite thing to do.
Here are a few meringue mountain ideas.
Make meringues – flavour and colour of your choice – and pile up croquembouche style sandwiched together with vanilla cream.
Here is my no fail meringue recipe, originally from Margaret Fulton, via an old recipe of my mother.
3 egg free range whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup caster sugar
Preheat the oven to very slow – 135 degrees C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Beat egg whites at low speed with an electric mixer until frothy, add cream of tartar and beat on highest speed until peaks hold their shape. Gradually beat in 2 tablespoons of the measured sugar and continue beating for 2-3 minutes. Add all the remaining sugar at once, fold in quickly and lightly with a metal spoon.
Add your flavouring at this point or food colour. Spoon or pipe onto prepared trays. In the image below I made pink rosewater meringues as well as plain ones.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Leave in oven for a further 1/2 hour or until dry – longer is better. When cool, store in an airtight container.
I like my meringues free form – but you could certainly pipe them for a more formal effect!
Assemble your meringue mountain in whatever way takes your fancy. I decorated the pink and white rosewater meringue mountain with crystallized rose petals.
Here is another flavour and colour combination. Use the basic meringue recipe and add these flavours and colours:
Rose water meringues: a drop of rose water and a couple of drops of red food colouring
Orange meringues: a drop of orange flower water and one drop of orange food colouring
Pear meringues: a drop of pear essence and a couple of drops of green food colouring
Almond meringues: a drop of almond essence and one drop of blue food colouring
And this meringue mountain, using the basic recipe, is made up of sour cherry meringues and chocolate meringues.