These Mediterranean Pistachio Rose Water Meringue with a soft creamy center, piled on a serving platter after a meal is simple and charming. The exotic fragrance of chopped green pistachios, rose water and hot sugar, baked into a dry and crispy meringue satisfies your appetite for a sweet finish after a delightful meal. The amount of rose water called for in this recipe doesn't produce a strong rose taste. If you wish for more, you can add as much as 2 more teaspoons.
Please consult The Finer Cookie's complete tutorial on how to whip egg whites. You'll find other helpful How-To's on the page as well.
This recipe comes from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook. For a complete reference, see below.
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SPECIAL MERINGUE EQUIPMENT
- 3-4 trays lined with parchment, an accurate thermometer, two large spoons, an old fashioned chef's knife, a stand mixer (due to the length of time and whites will have to whip; a hand held mixer won't have the strength to move the cooling meringue for the length of time necessary).
Special meringue equipment.
MISE EN PLACE FOR THE MERINGUES
- Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
- Prepare three trays with parchment paper.
- Measure the sugar and wiz it in a food processor until very, very fine.
- The meringue will benefit from the superfine texture of the sugar. Pour the superfine sugar onto one of the prepared trays.
A pile of superfine sugar.
Superfine sugar spread on the tray, ready for the oven.
- Separate and measure the eggs.
Fresh egg whites are needed for the meringues.
- Ready the rose water and finely chop the pistachios by hand. If they are too uniform and fine, the meringues have less charm.
- You want the pistachios to reflect the handmade character and have a few random imperfections.
- Warm the egg whites in the microwave by reducing the power to 2-4 of full power for about 45 seconds.
- Stir the whites with your clean finger to test whether they are warm. Being that your body is 98.6 degrees, when the egg whites feel slightly warmer than your finger, they are good.
MAKE THE MERINGUE
- Put the sugar in the oven on an upper racks for 8-12 minutes.
- Heat the dry sugar until the edges start to melt along the edges. The sugar will begin to brown and get a little crusty on the surface.
- When the sugar is almost ready, turn the mixer to medium high to break up the mass of egg whites and create some froth.
- Whip them until a foam begins to form and take on some structure.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 225F.
- Lift the two long ends of the parchment paper to create a chute for the sugar.
- Very slowly, so as not to overwhelm the egg whites, and with the mixer running on medium, pour the sugar through the chute into the mixer.
- Once all of the sugar has been added, turn it to high and feel the heat coming from the bottom of the bowl. This will be your reference as the meringue cools.
- Let the mixer run for about 8-10 minutes to cool the sugar and let the meringue develop texture and become firm.
- Once the meringue cools to about 95-100 degrees, stop the mixer.
- With one large spoon, scoop out the meringue about the size of a medium apple.
A spoonful of beautiful meringue.
- With the other spoon, move the meringue onto a tray.
- Fill each tray with 5 meringues.
- Give them plenty of space on the tray because they will almost double in size in the oven.
- Sprinkle the chopped pistachios over the meringues.
Spoonfuls of pistachio rose water meringue ready to dry in the oven.
- Bake in a 225F oven for about 2 hours.
- They are finished when the shell of the meringue is decidedly dry and firm. The center will be a bit creamy. If you prefer a dryer center, bake for another 15 minutes or so, being careful not to brown the meringue. Let them cool completely.
- The meringues will keep in a dry place, at room temperature, for several days.