Serves: Makes about 16
We have had some lovely weather for a change and, although a fleece is still required (a bracing wind being a permanent meteorological feature), I am thinking summery thoughts. These usually involve food on some level and my rose meringues look and taste like summer. I have always found it to be true that old egg whites make better meringues. The ones I used in the pictures were left over from a hollandaise sauce I made and had been in the fridge about a week. If the eggs are too fresh the gelatinous whites are difficult to beat. I have given a rough estimation as to the amount of rose water to use as the strength varies greatly from brand to brand. Start with a half tablespoon and increase the amount to your tastes. You can find crystallised rose petals from the website souschef.co.uk.
- 130g egg whites, from about 4 medium-sized eggs
- 260g caster sugar
- ½-1 ½ tablespoons rose water
- 16 little crystallised rose petals (optional)
- Heat the oven to 130˚c, fan oven 110˚c, mark ½. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment. Place the egg whites in a scrupulously clean bowl and whisk to stiff but not grainy peaks. Gradually whisk in the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time. Continue to whisk until the egg whites are very stiff and glossy. The mixture should not feel grainy when you rub a blob between your finger and thumb. Fold in the rose water, enough so you can taste it but not so much that the flavour is overpowering.
- Stick down the corners of the baking parchment with a little of the meringue mixture –fan ovens can blow the parchment up. Either pipe or spoon generous tablespoons of the meringue mixture on to the parchment, leaving at least 3-4cm between each meringue. Place a little crystallised rose petal in the centre of each meringue. Cook in the oven for about 1 hour or until the meringues sound hollow when gently tapped on the base. Turn off the oven, leaving the meringues inside for 1 hour to cool down.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and store in an airtight container.