Skye McAlpine’s meringues

Meringues are my go to pudding for when I’m lost as to what to cook: I love how extravagant they look, especially piled high on a cake stand like they do in the shop windows at pasticcerie across Venice. Every home cook needs a good meringue recipe; it’s such a good one to have under your belt. Not only are they gleefully easy, they can also be made a good few days ahead of when you plan to eat them, then stored in a tin. Serve as is, or with whipped cream and a bowl of strawberries.

Colin Dutton

MAKES 6-8 LARGE MERINGUES

4 large egg whites
200g caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 140C/gas 1. Pour the egg whites into a clean bowl. Make sure that the bowl is immaculately clean, as even a spot of grease will stop the whites from peaking. Whisk on a low to medium speed until the whites begin to froth; then add the sugar one spoonful at a time, all the while whisking on a high speed until the whites become glossy and begin to form stiff peaks.
2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spoon dollops of the egg white mixture on to the tray, shaping them loosely using two spoons (you should get 6-8 large meringues; for more decorative meringues, use a piping bag).
3. Set in the middle of the oven and bake for an hour, then switch the oven off and leave the meringues in there, without opening the door, for another hour or so, until the oven has cooled. Pile the meringues on a plate before serving.

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