Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Eaton Mess

Eaton Mess with blackberries, plum, and nectarines. Tastes better than it looks.

Less a recipe, than a "how-to."

Crush about 6-8 large meringues, leaving a few larger chunks. Fold into about 2 cups sweetened whipped cream. Top with fruit that has been lightly poached in a sugar syrup. Drizzle with extra sauce from fruit. Serve immediately.

You can adjust the amounts of everything to your tastes. Now, about those meringues. There are many, many recipes for meringues on the internet-they all suck. All of them. Here's mine-it doesn't suck.

3/4 cup egg whites at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons vinegar, divided

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Place the racks of the oven in the upper and lower thirds.

Beat the egg whites until they begin to form the first soft peaks. Slowly, beat in the first cup of sugar (no more than 3 tablespoons at a time) incorporating well after each addition. Add 1 teaspoon of the white vinegar and beat well. Continue adding the second cup of sugar until you have about half remaining-then, add the remaining vinegar. Add the rest of the sugar slowly, and beat until you have very stiff, glossy whites that hold a peak.

Pipe onto the parchment. Bake 20 minutes, then rotate the pans front to back, and up and down. Bake another 20 minutes. At this point, turn off the oven and leave the meringues in for at least three hours to dry out (overnight is even better). If it is at all humid where you live, leave them in the turned off oven until you are ready to serve.

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