This was meant to be a post about how to make a pineapple clutch. But arrrggghhhhh – after two days of stitching, unpicking stitches, quilting, screaming, pleading with my sewing machine…. I gave up. Nobody wants to put themselves through that clutch drama – trust me… But then, as if the universe was giving me some kind of sign my parents gave me a copy of the Meringue Girls Cookbook. And it was like I needed to make meringues and stop messing about with the stupid clutch. I needed to make baby pineapple meringues. And I did. And you should too.
Ps – these taste nothing like pineapples
So this recipe is just a blatant copy of the one in the cookbook. And it’s great. I made about 24 mini meringues today – I ate 18 of them. I was getting the sugar sweats. It was ugly. But the meringues were soooooo good, so chewy, so mini and melty and delicious. So try this. Do it.
So this magic meringue recipe works on the following ratio:
60g of caster sugar to every 30g of egg white. You generally get about 30g of white from an egg – but weight it to be sure. For my meringues I used 2 egg whites.
1. Line a baking sheet with baking paper
2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a roasting dish with baking paper and pour in the caster sugar. leave the sugar for about 5 minutes (mine took a bit longer) until the edges are just beginning to melt (Serisouly – don’t skip this step).
3. Whisk your egg whites (I used a stand mixer, but a handheld electric whisk is fine too) – slowly to start with until bubbles form. Then increase the speed until the egg whites form stiff peaks, and you can tip the bowl without the whites falling out. Be careful not to overbeat the mixture – it will look cotton wooly if you do this.
4. The sugar should be ready by now – so take it out of the oven and turn the oven down to 100 degrees Celsius (might help to leave the door ajar to speed up cooling).
5. Whilst whisking at full speed add a tablespoon of hot sugar. Let the mixture come back to a stiff peak before adding the next tablespoon of sugar. Keep going until you have added all of the sugar. Then beat the mixture on high for about 5 minutes. You want to make sure all the sugar is dissolved – so test the mixture by rubbing a little between your fingers – if it feels gritty, beat for a little longer. The mixture is ready when it forms a smooth shiny peak on your finger.
6. To colour your meringues turn your piping bag inside out and place over a bottle. Using a paintbrush brush thick stripes of colouring down the sides of the bag (yellow for pineapples obviously!), about 5 is about 5 stripes is about right.
7. Carefully turn the piping bag the right side around and spoon in the meringue mixture. Pipe out meringues, leaving about a few cm between each one. Bake at 100 degrees Celsius for 30 – 40 minutes. Take them out of the oven as soon as they can be lifted with the bases intact. Leave to cool.
8. Add pineapple leaves if desired (I just drew leaves, cut them out and taped them to a matchstick).