I feel like my recent posts have been quite the essays, so this time I’ll spare you the preamble.
Meringues, Pastry Cream, Fresh Berries
Adapted from the BBC
Four large egg whites
115g sugar (berry or castor if possible)
115g icing sugar
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed to stiff peaks.
Increase the speed to high, and add sugar one spoonful at a time. Continue beating until thick and glossy.
Sift in icing sugar, in thirds, folding to combine.
Spoon into an icing bag, and pipe onto the baking sheet. Bake for an hour and fifteen minutes.
Let cool completely, and store in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.
Adapted from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery
Four egg yolks
Half a vanilla bean, scraped
65g granulated sugar
50g Bird’s custard powder, sifted
335g whole milk
15g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Set up an ice bath. Put a fine strainer over the inside bowl.
Put the yolks and vanilla seeds in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix for about 30 seconds on medium low speed, then reduce speed to low and slowly add the sugar. Mix on medium for two to three minutes, until a pale yellow.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing, and mix on medium high speed for three minutes, until mixture starts to thicken.
Take the bowl off of the stand mixer. Fold in custard powder until incorporated. Slowly pour in milk, and stir until combined.
Pour mixture into a large saucepan over medium heat, and stir gently until it begins to thicken. Whisk continuously as it comes to a simmer, and then simmers for five minutes (or until thick).
Press cream through strainer, and whisk for about a minute to cool slightly. Whisk in butter in two additions.
Pour into a container and cover with plastic wrap (to prevent a skin from forming, have the plastic wrap touching the top of the cream). Refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to three days before using.
Finally! – the quick and dirty part. Spoon pastry cream into the centre of each meringue. Top with mixed berries. Serve immediately, as the meringues will take in moisture from the cream and berries.