The weather this February has been less predictable than usual. New York has experienced icy winters, harsh falls and glimpses of spring in the span of 15 days. It’s even tested the versatility of my shorts and Crocs “uniform”.
The beauty of meringues is that they transcend every season. It’s the perfect transitional dessert to bridge winter and what March will soon enough bring.
Meringues are typically associated with French or Swiss cuisine. But the dish does have a pedigree in Italian cooking. In fact, some speculate that, like most good things, the meringue was invented by an Italian cook.
In its simplest form, meringue is a combination of sugar and whipped egg whites. In my favorite recipe, I add Frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur from Northern Italy. The hazelnut makes the meringue a little exotic but delicate. It’s the subtlety of this preparation that makes it distinctly Italian.
In general, I’m not a sweets person, but if there’s a recipe I love for its sugary decadence, it’s this. But they’re not to be consumed in one sitting. Moderation makes these confections all the sweeter.
The baked meringues can be stored in an airtight container filled with uncooked rice for a couple of days. Recreate this dessert for a couple of nights. It also makes the perfect midnight snack.