There are a few perks to working for Martha Stewart. Okay, more than a few.
I have access to insider tricks and techniques, beyond the glossy and informative pages of our magazines. I have beautiful MS branded mugs from which to drink my morning office coffee. I have an office rooftop in West Chelsea where I can lunch, participate in breakfast meetings, and join staff for Wednesday sunset yoga.
Okay, I’ll stop now.
These meringues were on the cover of our May 2012 Martha Stewart Living. They look deceptively difficult, and even with a culinary degree the chances that I would attempte them on a sunny afternoon would have been slim. While I like to bake, pastry arts generally require more patience and restraint than I can muster (especially on a weekend!).
However, we had the lovely Kris Kurek, from the Living test kitchen on the show this past spring and I got to talk to her about just how much emotional stability was required to complete these beauties. She assured me I would qualify, and after seeing her trick for creating the orange stripes… I agreed with her.
These are a beautiful little sweet to have for a bridal or baby shower, mom’s birthday, or piled in a mini glass cake dome for a gift.
Three important things I have learned about meringues in my trial and error:
a) Make sure all of your equipment is spotlessly clean, this effects the hold and shape of the meringue
b) Use the freshest eggs possible
c) Let the meringues cool completely in the oven before attempting to lift off of the parchment. If they are still warm at all, the protein in the egg will stick to the pan… these are delicacies and you must be gentle with them.
Okay so you may not have rooftop yoga and access to the MSLO prop room, but hey, you have me.
ORANGE CREAMSICLE MERINGUES
YIELD: 25 meringues
Martha Stewart Living, May 2012
3 large egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
Large pinch of salt
Large pinch of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
Gel-paste food coloring, in orange
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Combine egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Add vanilla bean seeds. Set bowl over a pot of simmering water, and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm, about 3 minutes. Add salt and cream of tartar.
Beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form and meringue is mostly cooled, about 7 minutes. Beat in zest.
Using a small paintbrush, paint 3 vertical stripes of food coloring inside a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip (Ateco #805). Fill bag with meringue, and pipe 1 3/4-inch circular shapes (they don’t need to be perfect rounds) 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. As you finish piping each shape, apply less pressure to pastry bag, and swirl the tip off in a circular motion.
Bake meringues until crisp on the outside but still soft inside, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Shut off oven, and let cool completely in oven. Transfer to wire rack.
*My Two Cents:
Feel free to use another color dye, yellow was accompanied by the orange on our cover. In this case, you would use lemon zest instead of orange.
I plan to make these meringues with peppermint extract and red food coloring for Christmas this year. The possibilities are endless.