Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Traditional Food at my table.

With Christmas only one sleep away I am sitting here pondering what traditions I have instilled in my family.  What will my children carry on when they are adults and creating their own traditions.  There are many things that I hope my children will carry forward but tonight it is all about food.  With us living in a nation where Christmas is a early summer event.  No snow for us and plenty of unstable windy, hot and sunny and even wet days are possible.

So with that in mind I would share What is in my oven gently cooking at the moment ready to take with me tomorrow to our family Christmas.

Meringues  yes I know.  While in New Zealand the Pavlova is proudly claimed as its own although history is debatable and states that it was a dessert that was invented after Anna Pavlova had been on tour with her ballet troupe traveling around New Zealand and Australia.  Whatever the case it was invented in Australasia.

As an upshot of that dessert, which coincidentally I don't like very much, I have made the tradition in my house to make meringues.  Just like a pavlova it is made with egg while just smaller and crunchier.  I guess this why I like the meringue over the pavlova. 

So without wasting anymore words here is my recipe for meringues.


In preparation you need to make sure you have the tools you are using perfectly clean and dry.  Your egg beater and bowl both need to be grease clean and dry.  Water, grease and fluffy egg whites do not combine well.  

That also brings me to another point.  Humidity and meringues do not combine well together as well.

Now I have got these two things out there let us begin.

4 egg white  (room temperature)
a pinch of salt
1 cup of castor sugar


1.  Place 4 egg whites into a metal bowl (maybe an old wives tale but I was always told it should be a metal bowl) and beat until the egg whites form peaks that can stand on their own.

2.   Next add in the pinch of salt and tablespoon at a time the sugar.  Beat until the sugar has disappeared before adding the next tablespoon of sugar.

3.  When all the sugar is in you will have a glossy looking mixture ready for spooning onto your tray covered in baking paper.  Don't forget you will need to have lovely looking peaks too.

4.  Place in an oven pre heated to 120 degrees celcius and then cool the oven temperature down to 90 degrees celcius.  Bake for about 1 1/2 hours and then turn your oven off leaving the meringues in the oven for 3 or so hours. 

5.  Store for up to 3 weeks in an air tight container.

I will be covering mine in a berry coolie with the option of light cream and fresh fruit.  Self assembled.