You know what the problem is with eggs? They consist of an egg yolk and an egg white and these two are often used separately. This leads to something of a vicious circle. You bake a birthday cake – it calls for 4 egg yolks, you have 4 egg whites left. Anxious not to let them go to waste, you look for a recipe. You find a recipe for meringue – it calls for 6 egg whites, you have 2 yolks left. And so on, and so forth…
This thriftiness results in an uninterupted flow of baked goods, which, when I think of it, probably isn’t very thrifty in the end, but than who would complain about that?
So, about this meringue: one of the few programs I watch is Nigel Slater’s Dish of the Day. In one of the episodes he was making meringue and the technique was a mind opener: he warmed the sugar in the oven beforehand so that the sugar would more easily dissolve in the egg whites. So simple, but someone had to think of it. How lucky I had leftover egg whites in the fridge at that point, and not egg yolks!
I used raw cane sugar, because it is slightly better for you (or less bad) than refined white sugar, but also because it tastes a lot more interesting than the blandly sweet white sugar.
Simple cranberry sauce to go with the meringues was just the right thing. It’s not very sweet because there’s obviously quite enough sugar in the meringues.
You will probably have some cranberry sauce left, but that surely is a good thing?
280g/10oz raw cane sugar (or golden caster sugar)
6 free-range eggs, whites only
pinch of cinnamon
Creme fraiche to serve (optional)
Preheat the oven on to 140C/275F/Gas 1.
Pour the sugar into an oven tray and bake for 30 minutes.
Whisk the egg whites while adding the warm sugar. Whisk well until the whites form a hard peak shape when the whisk is removed.
Line an oven tray with baking paper. Spoon mounds of the egg white onto the baking tray in rough shapes approximately the size of a tennis ball. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
When the meringues are cooked, flatten the tops down. Top each one with cranberry sauce and finish with a dollop of creme fraiche, if desired.
680 g (2 bags/ 24 ounces) cranberries
250 ml (1 cup) water
90 g (½ cup) raw cane sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp rum or brandy (optional)
Put all the ingredients in a medium pan and bring to a gentle boil. Cook until the cranberries “pop”.
Let cool. Keep leftover sauce in the fridge.