Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Blackberry Meringues


Hello everyone! So here we are, the Autumn fast approaching and I can't express how excited I am for the coming months. Early September means one thing to me: blackberries. I'm not talking about the overpriced genetically modified monsters you get packed into plastic punnets - oh, no - I mean the sweet real deal. Foraging for your own produce is not only so much fun, it's totally free! And the frugal old lady in me loves something for nothing, especially if it's food.

Blackberry-picking is a country activity I have done every year since I was a young child. We used to trek into the nearby fields with our next door neighbour, empty margarine tubs in hand, and fill them to the brim with fruit fresh from the prickly bramble bushes. I seem to remember them being huge plump treats at the time but in reality they were probably just the right size for little mouths! Who could resist sneaking one or two? I can't tell you the amount of times I "accidentally" dropped one in my mouth, and that's still true today.

Blackberries provoke such happy memories for me, and they are just one of many aspects of Autumn that make it my favourite season. We always make bramble jelly in our household, but I also wanted to try something a bit different. Off I went browsing beautiful food blogs - of which I aspire to be as lovely as - and discovered London Bakes. Oh god, I think I'm in love. If you haven't checked out her Instagram yet then I suggest you do so, such mouthwatering photography! Anyway she had a gorgeous recipe for swirly meringues so I thought I would give it a go. Here's how I got on...

PART ONE: EASY-PEASY BLACKBERRY SAUCE

Ingredients

1 cup fresh blackberries, washed
1 tsp honey
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Three ingredients, three steps. Place your blackberries in an oven-proof dish and coat with the honey and balsamic vinegar. Roast in a preheated oven (about gas mark 3) for around 30 minutes until softened. Do resist the urge to taste as it will smell divine. Allow it to cool before introducing the stewed fruit to your little friend: the food processor. Create a blood bath by whizzing them to a pulp. I'm not sure if the original recipe was pips and all, but I decided to strain mine for a smoother finish.

Set aside while you tackle the meringue mixture.

PART TWO: THE PERFECT MERINGUE

I decided to use a foolproof Mary Berry recipe for the meringues. Ideally, a meringue should be crispy on the outside with a soft marshmallow centre - or at least that's what I've always been taught. It takes patience and a very low oven to achieve this. However if I can do it, anybody can!

Ingredients

3 egg whites
175g caster sugar

Whisk up the three eggs whites in a clean bowl using an electric mixer on high speed. It's imperative that the bowl is not greasy, nor that it has any egg yolk in with it - even a smidgen will ruin the meringue. Once at stiff peaks, spoon in your sugar a teaspoon at a time. You need to make sure that you can't feel any grains of sugar and that the mixture turns glossy and stiff.

PART THREE: A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Now's the time to turn down your oven to gas mark 2 and prepare your baking sheets. Line two trays with baking paper and use a tiny amount of the meringue mixture to stick the baking paper down in the corners. Spoon six meringues onto each baking tray and try not to smooth them down in any way - you want crispy bits as well as soft chewy goodness! Next, grab your blackberry sauce and drop a teaspoon into the centre of each meringue. Swirl with a cocktail stick or a spoon (my preferred method) until you get a pretty pattern. Bake them for an hour or until slightly golden on the peaks. When the hour is up, turn the oven off to get cold but do not remove your meringues. Leave them for an hour and a half-two hours to ensure that your treats have a hard shell but a chewy centre.

Serve with whipped cream (I cheated and used shop-bought squirty cream) and fresh blackberries. They also go fantastically well with lemon curd. You could use any berries with this, or even ready-made jam. I'm tempted to try a strawberry one next as I have a surplus of homemade strawberry jam left over from the summer!

Love blackberries? What do you think?
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25 comments

  1. These look gorgeous, and don't sound too complicated either- definitely saving this recipe!
    Jennifer xx
    www.ginevrella.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. Was hoping to stay off the sugar but these look too good so might have to try them out! :)
    Maddy xx
    happymadlife.blogspot.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Haha, I'm sorry for breaking your sugar deficit! Xx

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  3. YUMMY these look absolutely amazing, I have been baking a lot lately but had some disasters so want to try these xxxx


    Blonde of carbs

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  4. They look absolutely amazing! I haven't eaten blackberries in ages and I'm not sure why! I'll have to pick some up next time I go shopping! x

    SophiesMakeupBlog

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    1. Thanks Sophie! Aw, you really should pick some up - the blackberry season isn't very long and you want them fresh! Xx

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  5. Oh my, these look so yummy. I'll definitely have to give these a go. I love the pattern you created with the blackberries. :) x

    Amzyinwonderland.blogspot.com

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  6. it looks so yummy! I'm definitely gonna try this! x

    www.rawrbows.blogspot.com

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  7. These look so yummy, meringues are to die for!

    nueyork.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. I love meringues - such a treat! Eton Mess is one of my favourite desserts! Xx

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  8. oh my I am off blackberry hunting tomorrow!

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    Replies
    1. It's a favourite past time of mine in the Autumn! That and conkers! Xx

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  9. These look delicious! I don't think I've ever had meringues with blackberry sauce and this is perfect timing for blackberry season!

    Elesaurus | elesaurusrawr.blogspot.com
    YouTube - Eleanor Rose

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    Replies
    1. Give it a go - really easy and is such a tasty change! Xx

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  10. These look really yummy! I do love blackberries!

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  11. Ooh! These look amazing! Going to make these for my granny who loves meringues! x

    LOVELY ROSE PETAL BLOG | Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Blog

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  12. These look delicious! I've got a heap of blackberries in the freezer at the mo so I'm bookmarking this to make at some point! :-) xx

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  13. These look awesome! I love a meringue xx

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