Today I have a recipe for a Raspberry Rose Meringue. And to be honest, I never make meringue. I don’t have a sweet history with it and I didn’t even know what it really was until two or so years ago. So why would I even want to make this recipe? Well, have you seen pictures of meringue when it’s being whipped up into a heavenly fluff? That’s the reason I HAD to embark on my own meringue adventure. But of course, there’s always more, it’s the seductive possibility of flavor combinations that leaves me weak-in-the-knees for meringue.
When it comes to making recipes, I don’t like to take path often traveled. I want to do something generally unique, yet familiar in terms of flavors I grew up with. Having spent the majority of my childhood summers in Iran visiting family, I have vivid memories of my olfactory system being drenched with the innumerable scents that dance around the bazaar. Saffron, rosewater, and cardamom would lazily waft around the attention-seeking aroma of freshly roasted nuts, savory spices, and just-off-the-vine produce. Coupled with the hustle and bustle of the bazaar, the shouting of merchants, and the symphony of sounds produced from the clanging of old copper scales, crinkling plastic bags, and haggling customers; the bazaar was nothing short of heaven.
Everyday, I would go to the bazaar. Wide-eyed in an inexplicable rapture, I would gaze at the thousands of interactions that would take place every second. Day after day, I would do the same thing, never getting tired of the beauty of bazaar. She had a life of her own, a beautiful pounding heart that let you know that she was unapologetically alive. She wanted you to experience every last bit of her, down to her scent, her sound, and her flavor, and touch. She was quite the seductress.
As years went on and my schooling became progressively demanding, my trips to Iran became less and less frequent, and the nostalgia welcomed herself to grow painfully heavy in my chest. The longing for the sweet comfort of my beautiful bazaar only became increasingly unbearable as years wore on. And while my schooling is still demanding, and my trips back to my family aren’t nearly as often as I’d wish them to be, I take the edge of the dagger-like wistfulness by reminiscing in the sweet, sweet perfume of my bazaar. This yearning inspired me to add rosewater to the meringue, which playfully flirts with the raspberry in a way only the bazaar could. I hope you can find joy and comfort, as I do, in these wonderful morsels of sweet childhood memories.
- 2 egg whites
- ½ cup of unrefined cane sugar (I use this instead of coconut sugar so that it doesn’t add too much color.)
- 2 tsp of finely ground, freeze-dried raspberries (You can get freeze dried raspberries from Trader Joe’s and then grind it in a coffee grinder.)
- ½ tsp of rose water (You can get this at your local ethnic market.)
- ½ tsp of fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp of vanilla extract
- Dash of salt
- Olive oil, or other fat, for greasing
- About 10 small dried rosebuds, ground, to garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200º F. While the oven is heating, separate the egg whites from the yolks and add the whites to either a glass or metal bowl, along with the lemon juice. A plastic bowl can be used, however, it tends to hold onto residual grease which can disable the meringue from becoming light and fluffy. Whatever bowl used, make sure it is absolutely spotless.
- Mix the sugar, raspberry powder, and dash of salt and set aside.
- Start whipping the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium high. Every 3o seconds add the raspberry sugar mixture, in approximately 5-7 installments. The mixture will appear lumpy at first, but will quickly even out.
- Once the raspberry sugar mixture has all been added, add the rosewater and vanilla extract, and then continue whipping until the meringue develops an appearance similar to that of marshmallow fluff. The peaks of the mixture should be able to stand on their own.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and thoroughly grease with fat of choice, this is absolutely essential for ensuring the meringue won’t stick like glue to the parchment paper.
- Using a plastic bag, or a piping bag, scoop the meringue mixture out of the bowl and add it into the bag. If using a plastic bag, snip off a small corner with scissors. Now you’re ready to pipe! You can make a swirly design as I did below, or you can get creative and do whatever you like! If you’ve chosen to use the ground up rosebuds, you can sprinkle them over the meringue for a bit of decoration and extra rose flavor!
- After piping the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place it into the oven for 3 hours. It is crucial that temperature of the oven does not rise above 200ºF as the meringue will burn, rather than dry out. In the last hour of baking, crack the oven open with a piece of wood to bring down the temperature.
- After 3 hours, remove the baking sheet from the oven, and let the meringue cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy with some tea or any other beverage of your choosing! Bon appétit!