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cherry & rum meringues

November 25, 2014

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“I could have eaten 100 of these”, or so said my girlfriend’s not-boyfriend this Sunday past.

We’d sat in 35 degree weather, steaming on the balcony with our Aperol Spritzes, plates of porchetta and cooling salads. There was roast pumpkin with parmesan and onions cooked in rendered pork fat and verjuice. Cured meats, breads and antipasto lay in platters. Glasses clinked with rapidly melting ice.

But eyes drifted towards the dessert table. Towards the hunk of pecorino aside walnuts, honey and figs. In anticipation of the giant tubs of gelato (and jar of nutella). In the direction of the boxes of cannoli and italian biscuits.

Oh, and the platter of meringues. Glistening in the sunlight. Shiny tops and deep purple swirls.

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I love the festivity of meringues.

Hot as it may be at Christmastime in Sydney, the fluffy white peaks remind me of cooler climates and snow topped mountains – all without the cost of having to travel there!

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Speaking of mountains, I picked these cherries (literally!) up from the Blue Mountains just a couple of weeks ago. After hearing from Holly that Pine Crest Orchard was having a cherry picking day, I gathered troops and made the 90 minute drive up to Bilpin, bag in tow for a day amongst the trees.

An hour, two buckets and a couple of piggy backs later (the cherries up top are the best!) we found ourselves in possession of a touch under 5kg of the freshest, ripest cherries we’d ever seen. (Not mentioning the ones that made it into our bellies in the name of quality assurance!)

They went to friends and family. To Koji’s lunchbox and to the post-dinner table for a good week before I decided to set aside a few for experimenting.

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I don’t own a cherry pitter, so after scouring the internet for solutions, settled on using a piping tip as me pit removing tool of choice.

It’s a pretty simple (if somewhat messy) process. Place the cherry, stem side down onto the piping tip and press down gently to ease the stone straight out the bottom. A larger tip gets the stones every time, but mangles the cherry a bit, whilst a smaller tip keeps them slightly more intact at the risk of accidentally missing the pit and squirting yourself in the eye with red juice.

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You won’t use all of the cherry-rum syrup for the meringues, but don’t fret. It does excellently in cocktails with a drop of extra rum, a splash of soda water and a squeeze of lime.

Or, if you’re serving these up for a plated dessert, a plop of whipped cream and a drizzle of extra syrup would go beautifully with the marshmallowy interior. Like a mini pavlova, of sorts.

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cherry & rum meringues
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
I've adapted Valli Little's meringue recipe from Love to Cook. It's one of my favourite meringue recipes as you know the sugar has fully dissolved in the cooking process, leading to the fluffiest, smoothest meringue centres.
Ingredients
  • 10 cherries
  • 50ml spiced rum (or 1 tsp vanilla paste mixed into 3tbsp water)
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
How to make it
  1. Start by pitting your cherries. In lieu of a cherry pitter, I use a piping tip and push the stone straight through the cherry!
  2. Combine the pitted cherries, rum and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring and smashing the cherries down. When the cherries are broken down and squishy, take the mixture off the heat.
  3. Scoop the cherries into a sieve and smoosh them back into the saucepan using the back of a spoon. Try and get as much of the cherry through the sieve as possible so only the skins are left behind.
  4. Put the cherry sauce back on the heat and cook until it is syrupy and sticky. Set aside to cool.
  5. To make the meringues, position a metal or glass bowl above a saucepan of simmering water. Put the egg whites and sugar into the bowl and, using a whisk or spatula, stir over the heat until all of the sugar crystals have dissolved. You can tell if it's done by rubbing a pinch of the mixture between your fingers and feeling for any grit.
  6. One all of the sugar is dissolved, transfer the egg white and sugar mixture to a stand mixer and beat it until it is glossy and holding firm peaks - you can tell by turning your beater upside down and marveling at the lack of drips!
  7. Preheat your oven to 120C and line two flat baking trays with greaseproof paper. Dollop twelve lots of meringue onto the baking paper, keeping them well spaced apart.
  8. Drizzle about ¼ tsp of the cherry syrup over each meringue and use a chopstick or fork to swirl it through, being careful to not let the syrup drip down the sides and onto the tray.
  9. Bake the meringue for one and a half hours, then turn the oven off and leave them in the oven until they are completely cool.

 


  • #1
    November 26th, 2014

    they are gorgeous looking little morsels! i want to go cherry picking again!

  • #2
    November 27th, 2014

    Meringues! My favourite! And that’s a handy tip re: the piping tip too.

Shez