As you probably figured out by now, I really like Ina Garten. I watch her on the Food Network all the time and own one of her cookbooks, Barefoot Contessa at Home. Every time I look through it, I bookmark more recipes to try. The day after I put a post it on her pavlova with mixed berries recipe, I watched the episode where she made meringues chantilly with roasted berries. I liked the idea of everyone having his or her own serving. I also liked the fact that the berries would be roasted instead of just fresh, especially because the raspberries I had were frozen (yep, from the same batch as the raspberry jam). I also found some packaged strawberries in the freezer, my dad probably bought those when they were on sale.
These were surprisingly easy to make, probably because I used the Kitchen Aid stand mixer. The hardest part was the shaping, but after one or two even that got easier. I didn’t have a pastry bag (uni-tasker!) or a star tip, but I did have a zip top bag and some scissors, and that worked almost as well.
In retrospect, I should have added more sugar to the roasting berries. I used brown instead of white, just for the fun of it. I thought the flavor was delicious, sweet while still a bit tart (I used way more raspberries than strawberries) and definitely a good soft complement to the crispy texture of the meringues.
- 4 extra – large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (I omitted this, only because we had none left. Though it makes whipping easier, it’s not necessary)
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small glass and a pencil, draw 4 (3 1/2-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn the paper face down on the baking sheets.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, (cream of tartar), and salt on high speed until frothy. This takes only a few minutes. Add 2/3 cup of the sugar and continue beating on high speed until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla. Carefully fold the remaining 1/3 cup sugar into the meringue.
Carefully transfer the mixture into a pastry bag/zip top bag (use a star tip if you have one) and pipe a disk of meringue inside each circle. In one episode I saw, Ina started from the inside and made concentric circles until the edge of the circle, then made another layer on the outside. In the other, she started from the outside and made the circles in, then made a circle around the outer layer. The first way is WAY easier. This “lip” is pretty important because it holds the whipped cream and berries, yum!
Bake for 2 hours, or until the meringues are dry and crisp but not browned. Turn off the heat and allow the meringues to sit in the oven for 4 hours or overnight.
Here is Ina’s recipe for the roasted berries. If it was berry season, I would have used all these berries, but because it was fall the ones I had on hand/frozen are perfectly fine. I used the same method she did:
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 2 half-pints fresh raspberries
- 2 half-pints fresh blueberries
- 2 half-pints fresh blackberries
- 1/4 cup sugar (use brown sugar like me if you want!)
- Vanilla bean, split and seeds removed (or just some vanilla extract, because who wants to spend 6 more dollars on this dessert?)
Place the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries on a sheet pan and toss with the sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.
When cooled, add some whipped cream (preferably homemade/freshly whipped, but if you must use canned, go ahead) and a spoonful of the berries and sauce. Serve.
One thing great about this recipe is that if you omit the whipped cream, this is a delicious pareve dessert. I made the same meringues again with some strawberry sauce on top for a Shabbat dessert. I just put some strawberries in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of sugar and cooked away. When it smells like pancake house strawberry sauce, you know it’s ready. I served it with fresh strawberries, too.