Have you ever had one of those déjà vu-like experiences in the kitchen? You are working on a dish, and then you’re hit with a moment from the past? You can almost smell the memory because it’s that vivid.
That happens to me, but the most recent experience was when I was working on a meringue for a dark chocolate pie. I decided to make the Swiss Meringue that was in our March/April 2013 issue. I thought, instead of the rich whipped cream topping that I normally do, I would give this one a go.
I love meringue any way you do it, especially the yummy classic meringue that my mother-in-law does on her lemon pie, but when I tasted this one at the photo shoot, I was in love. It was almost marshmallow-like in its consistency and flavor. It made me think of my Mom.
She makes this yummy marshmallow frosting to top a white sheet cake. This was (and still is) her go-to frosting recipe to top a quick box cake when she needed a dessert fast for those visitors who dropped in unexpectedly. Growing up she would whip it up in a flash, and I was in awe as she plopped it on each layer. It was beautiful! It glistened and was so fluffy that it reminded me of a cloud. I would always wait patiently to eat what was left on the beaters, and then I would savor a piece of the cake with a big tall glass of milk. My mouth is watering thinking about it!
My Mom and mother-in-law make preparing meringue look so easy. But the thing is, meringue can be tricky. It takes patience, practice, and in some cases, the right weather. But I just had to make that Swiss Meringue! So the day I decided to make it for my pie, wouldn’t you know it…rain all day. I pushed on and made it anyway.
I was completely astonished at how lovely it turned out, even while the weather outside was not so pleasant. And when I topped my dark chocolate pie with it and took a bite, well, my knees buckled because it was the perfect combination. Its delicate texture against that rich chocolate reminded me of Easter. I was pretty proud of myself. In the past I’ve made about five different meringues to top pies and banana puddings, but this one is probably my favorite that I’ve made because it reminded me so much of my mom’s ooey-gooey marshmallow meringue frosting.
If you’re up to trying two fantastic meringues or want to see a step-by-step from Paula on how to make a meringue, pick up our March/April 2013 issue or click here.