Meringues are so unique and versatile… Made with 2 basic ingredients, it is a sure treat! I decided to give a slight middle eastern twist to my meringues by combining the middle eastern flavours of pomegranate, rose and pistachios. And the result, a modern twist on the age-old french classic. 🙂
Pomegranates are in season and their rich red beads tempted me to make something with them. They were so juicy and delicious that I had to come up with a dessert using pomegranates.
Ingredients: (Makes 4 medium meringues)
- Pomegranate juice- 1 cup (I used 1 big- juicy pomegranate)
- Organic pink food coloring- 1/2 teaspoon
- Pistachios- to garnish; chopped
- Vanilla Extract- 1/2 teaspoon
- Rose water- 1 teaspoon
- Egg whites of 2 large eggs
- Salt- a pinch
- Caster sugar- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (If your sugar is not superfine, blitz it in the food processor for a minute or so)
- Cornstarch- 1/4 teaspoon
Add the pomegranate juice to a sauce pan along with one tablespoon of sugar. Dissolve the cornstarch in a tablespoon of water and add it to the saucepan containing the pomegranate juice. Heat the sauce pan and reduce the liquid till it becomes thick, making sure you keep stirring the pan. Remove from heat and let it cool. After it cools, add the rose water and pink food colouring.
Add the egg whites to a clean, dry bowl along with a pinch of salt. (It is essential for the bowl to be clean and grease-free or else the egg whites won’t whip to the fullest volume)
Preheat the oven to 110°C/ 230 F. Make sure your whisk attachment is clean and dry. Start beating the egg whites with a beater. Bubbles will start forming. Continue beating till you reach soft peak stage. It has reached this stage when you lift the whisk and soft/ loose- aerated peaks are formed.
Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time while beating it constantly. Make sure the sugar gets dissolved before adding the next tablespoon. Continue till you have reached the stiff peak stage and your sugar has completely dissolved. A good way to check is by taking a small amount of the meringue mixture and rubbing it between your fingers. If it feels grainy then you have to continue beating. The entire process will take about 8-10 minutes. Once you have reached stiff peak stage, add vanilla extract and beat for a second. The meringue mixture should be thick, glossy and it should not fall if you invert the bowl.
Place a few dabs of the meringue mixture on a baking tray and on it place a sheet of baking paper to fit that size. These meringue dots will keep the sheet in place. Slightly beat the pomegranate reduction. Add the reduction over the mixture in a random manner and then using a knife or fork, make swirls. Take a generous amount of the mixture and place it on the baking tray lined with the sheet. (Use two spoons to make the task easier. One spoon to lift the meringue and the other to push it onto the sheet) Make a total of 4 meringues. Make sure you place them far apart because they expand while cooking.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour- 1 hour 10 minutes. If using an OTG, turn the tray once every half an hour to ensure even cooking. The meringues should be hard and crisp on the outside but should have a slightly soft centre. Allow the meringues to cool in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve the meringues with chopped pistachios and a bit of reduced pomegranate juice.
NOTE– Sinking of the meringue after baking indicates that the sugar was not fully dissolved. If the meringues do not whip up well to stiff peaks it means that the bowl was dirty or had some grease and it may also be due to the quality of eggs whites used.
Happy Baking! 🙂