So, how many eggs do you have to use up? With a guilty smear of chocolate stolen from the children on the corner of my mouth and cracked eggshells on the counter like a scene from Jurassic Park in miniature, this week, my friends, I made meringue nests. Not just any meringue nests, but carrot and pistachio. With carrot juicer pulp, for a bit of ‘hate waste’ virtue.
Is it possible to write/read meringue without thinking about Dirty Dancing?
Baby wails: “I can’t even do the merengue!” Next you’ll be thinking about watermelon, but I digress.
For these flavourful meringue nests, with a satisfying airy crispiness and chewy interior, I’ve used ground pistachios and the dry carrot pulp left over from juicing. If you haven’t got a juicer you can finely grate the carrot, but then wring it out in a tea towel to dry it out.
The easiest way to deseed the pomegranate is to cut it in half and, while holding it over a bowl, whack the back with a wooden spoon. Spank it, if you will. It’s still a bit of a bloodbath (think: raptors finally getting their teeth into Jeff Goldblum), but that lovely crimson juice makes the pomegranate cream pink and tangy.
* I was interviewed in Get the Gloss.
* You know when someone gets such a violent cough that they pull a muscle? That was me. I’m pretty sure it was consumption. Or The Black Lung.
* My lovely sister took us all to Legoland as a treat for my kids before she moves back to Canada. I’ll miss her dearly.
* I rode a horse for the first time and LOVED it.
On with the show….
Carrot and Pistachio Meringue Nests with Pomegranate Cream
25g (1/3 cup) unsalted shelled pistachios
25g (1/3 cup) carrot pulp from juicer (or finely grated carrot, squeezed dry in a tea towel)
2 egg whites
100g (½ cup) caster sugar
½ a pomegranate
100ml (2/3 cup) double (heavy) cream
Heat oven to 120C/250F. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment paper.
Whiz the pistachios in a food mill or blender until fine. Reserve a tablespoon each of the pistachio dust and carrot pulp for finishing.
With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Continue beating and add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating for a few seconds between each addition. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold in the carrot pulp and pistachio dust.
Spoon the meringue into six equal-sized rounds on the baking parchment and use the spoon to make them into bowl shapes. Bake for 1 ½ – 2 hours or until they are dried out and easily lift from the parchment paper. Allow to cool completely.
For the pomegranate cream, beat the cream until thickened. Halve the pomegranate and, over the bowl of cream, hold the cut side and whack the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon a few times until about half of the seeds and some of the juice falls into the bowl. Fold into the cream.
Spoon the pomegranate cream into the meringue nests, top with more pomegranate seeds and the reserved pistachio dust and carrot pulp. Serve immediately.