I did not know my last post would move some of my friends I received some beautiful messages/emails ...that did bring tears to my eyes. I wish I could share, but not everyone wants to share everything, having said that let's leave somethings unsaid ! Thank you for the beautiful words. Talking about sharing, I always wonder how much should one share on social media, be it a blog or face book or google plus or... ! I know what you guys are going to tell me, whatever one is comfortable with and I cannot agree more, to each their own we are all unique in the way we are and the choices we make. What am not comfortable with is when and if someone needles you into sharing more than what you are comfortable with or if people get cynical and judgmental about who you are. Well thankfully we are all matured adults and hopefully we all know how to deal with that, but there are moments when it does become a learning experience :) am sure a lot of you relate to that ! It is really amazing how social media has redefined the way we interact, am no expert in that field. But as a parent I do worry about the medium, a balance between trusting your child's judgement and protecting their actions that might be driven by ignorance, I think there is a fine line there and a challenging one. I would love to read your take on it .....
Getting back to what's cooking in my kitchen, it all started with 'Downton Abby' I think we were watching the episodes (I don't remember which one) where Mrs Patmore bakes a raspberry meringue (yes! the one with salt), since the day Mrs Patmore made the meringue, there has been pleas of "can you make it too" in our household. And no it is not from my other half, who does not fancy 'Downton Abbey' as much as we girls do. The law of attraction did seem to work this time and I was seeing meringue everywhere, I saw pistachio rose-water meringue on sparrows and spatula and that was the recipe for me. Well the raspberries were out and we hid the salt jar...you never know :)) I replaced the rose-water with saffron water...
I always thought baking meringue was a work of skill and intense labor, well note to self : don't think so much !! These are really airy and sweet, I love the delicate flavor of saffron, am so glad I baked it. I did not pipe them, I was lazy and did not want any delay in trying them, so no extra steps. I was pretty happy with the outcome and loved the non-uniform shapes.
1 cup sugar ( regular not caster)
4 egg whites aged for a couple of hours at room temperature ( make sure you get the yolk out when it the egg is cold - much easier to do) the original recipe asks for 30 min at room temperature, I did mine for 2 hours.
1 1/4 tsp of saffron water - soaked a few strands of saffron for a couple of hours in warm water
handful of pistachio chopped
Thanks to sparrows & Spatula for this tip, for every egg white you need 1/4 cup of sugar . That is the only secret to making of the meringue.
Pre heat over to 400 F. Line baking tray with parchment paper and evenly spread the sugar. Heat the sugar and keep a close watch on it. It takes from 5-8 min. As soon as the sugar starts to dissolve around the edges, you know it is done. If you do wait longer, it will caramelize the sugar. Make sure you do not spread the sugar to thin, it will caramelize before you say jack robinson. ( been there done that )
With one eye on the sugar, pour your egg white to a mixing bowl and when you see the sugar is almost done, whip the egg whites, on high till it is frothy.
Remove the sugar from the oven, pour it, with help of parchment paper into the egg whites, if any sugar is stuck to the paper, just scrape and pour it. Save the parchment for latter use. Add the saffron water.
At this time drop the oven temperature to 225F - this is a very important step so plz do not forget
Now whisk the egg white and sugar till it is nice and creamy and hold stiff peaks ( ref to pic ) .
Finely chop the pistachio. Line the baking tray with the parchment paper. With the help of two spoons scoop the egg white mixture with one spoon and scrape with other and place it on parchment, sprinkle pistachio on it. Now you can also pipe the egg white mixture, that is up to you. Bake it for 2 hours, make sure every 30 min you rotate the baking tray to ensure even baking.
Light as air , with a delicate saffron flavor !!