Monday, December 15, 2014

Raspberry and Pistachio Meringues

Christmas is one of my favourite holidays because it's all about spending time with your family and friends. I know it sounds corny, but life really does take over some times and you suddenly realise you haven't caught up with anyone for months.

I am one of those horrible people that need special occasions as reminders. 


Being Chinese, my family didn't really do Christmas until we came to New Zealand and, even then, it was just for the benefit of us kids. We all knew that Santa wasn't real, but the excitement of having the whole extended family gathered around one table is one of my favourite memories. Now that we are all older and have our own lives, it is even more important to keep up this tradition. 

Since last year, I have inherited Christmas. This means cooking for around 20 or so friends and family with the help of my sous chef, Jason. 


This year, I am working all the way up to Christmas Eve, so we have been looking at things can be prepared ahead of time like these raspberry and pistachio meringues. The toppings give it extra oomph and texture while the red and green provide a Christmas feel. These pictures were just of my test batch and they were devoured in two days -I think they'll be a great hit for the big day!

These would also go well with a cup of tea or wrapped up as an edible gift :)

Have you had the honour of inheriting Christmas yet? Or will you get to enjoy someone else's spoils?

Raspberry and Pistachio Meringues (makes 24)
A Lucyeats Original



Ingredients:

6 egg whites, room temperature
350g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup freeze dried raspberries*
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
Freeze dried raspberry powder to serve (optional)*

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 110°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
2. Place egg whites and salt in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
3. Add the sugar, one teaspoon at a time, while the mixer is running.
4. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to mix until the mixture is thick and glossy. High, stiff peaks should form when you lift the whisk attachment.
5. Gently fold through the freeze dried raspberries
6. Spoon dollops of meringue on to your baking sheets. Each meringue should be about 2 Tablespoons.
7. Roughly crush the pistachio nuts with a mortar and pestle or with a rolling pin.
8. Sprinkle the crushed nuts and raspberry powder over the tops of the meringues.
9. Bake in the oven for one hour. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues for at least two hours. Leave them in the oven overnight if possible.

These should last up to 3 weeks in an air tight container.

*You shouldn't need to travel far for freeze dried raspberries and raspberry powder. I used the Fresh-As brand from my local supermarket.