Spring has finally arrived in Melbourne, the tree on our nature strip is blooming with small white blossoms and you get an instant whiff of Spring when you walk out the front door. With Spring being so welcome, I was delighted when Anastasia from the wonderful blog Drawing and Dreaming asked Mel from Armoire Pegs and Casserole and myself if we’d like to publish a simultaneous blog post about Spring in our city. Anastasia is based in Sydney, Mel in Auckland and myself here in Melbourne.
We have so much going on in Melbourne in Spring, there’s Spring Fashion Week, the AFL Football Grand Final (which is a very big deal as football is like a religion here), The Royal Melbourne Show and of course the Spring Racing Carnival to name a few events. It’s an exciting time to be in Melbourne and caterers are kept incredibly busy supplying food to these events. Food caterers like Ed Dixon Food Design create the most gorgeous boxes of chicken sandwiches, mini meat pies, mini brioche burgers and dessert boxes perfect to wash down with a champagne on the lawn at Flemington Racecourse. Spring is also the biggest selling period in real estate, alot of people wait until Spring to put their house on the market as their gardens are looking their best and the weather is perfect.
Spring meringues are so sweet and the perfect dessert in Spring topped with whipped cream and the seasons fresh fruit like strawberries and rhubarb.
On the food front, vegetables like asparagus, green beans and peas are in season and fruits like blood oranges, cantaloupe and strawberries which allow you to make yummy tarts and salads to take on picnics or to the races. Being in season Strawberries were abundant and cheap in our supermarket today, so to celebrate Spring I made some meringues topped with strawberries. It’s the first time I’ve made them, so need to get a bit more practice piping them. I thought they’d spread a bit in the oven but no, they completely held their shape. I enjoyed making these meringues today as I always have fun working with a piping bag, whether it’s piping icing onto cupcakes, spinach and feta mixture into cannelloni tubes or piping these meringues onto their oven tray
If you enjoyed my post about Spring in Melbourne, pop over to visit Armoire Pegs and Casserole and Drawing and Dreaming see their take on Spring in their cities. You can also find Anastasia on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and Mel on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Here’s a recipe for Spring Meringues topped with fragrant, sweet strawberries.
4 egg whites, 115g caster sugar, 115g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to fan 100C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper (meringue can stick on greaseproof paper and foil).
Place the egg whites into a large clean mixing bowl (not plastic). Beat them on medium speed with an electric mixer until the mixture resembles a fluffy cloud and stands up in stiff peaks when the blades are lifted.
Now turn the speed up and start to add 115g caster sugar, a dessertspoonful at a time. Continue beating for 3-4 seconds between each addition. It’s important to add the sugar slowly at this stage as it helps prevent the meringue from weeping later. However, don’t over-beat. When ready, the mixture should be thick and glossy.
Sift one third of the 115g icing sugar over the mixture, then gently fold it in with a big metal spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to sift and fold in the remaining icing sugar a third at a time. Again, don’t over-mix. The mixture should now look smooth and billowy, almost like a snow drift.
Pipe the mixture onto the baking sheet about the size of a medium apple. Or just drop a couple of dessertspoons of them in rough rounds, if you prefer. Bake for 1 1⁄2-1 3⁄4 hours in a fan oven, 1 1⁄4 hours in a conventional or gas oven, until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath and are a pale coffee colour. Leave to cool on the trays or a cooling rack. (The meringues will now keep in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for a month). Top with cream that has been whipped with a little sugar and a dash of vanilla and top with strawberries.
Recipe from bbcgoodfood.com