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Cream & Crunch Puffs: Submitted by: Meg Martin | Date Added: 19 Feb 2016
Listed in: Sweets

3/4 c. +1 T. Granulated sugar
2 T. Confectioners sugar
3 large egg whites, room temp.
1/2 tsp. distilled white vinegar or 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Pinch fine sea salt
Red food coloring, optional

Filling & finishing:
1 1/2 c. Cold heavy cream
2 T. Confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Red food color
3 T. Raspberry jam
6 oz. fresh raspberries

Cooking Instructions

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Have a tablespoon and a bowl of cold water nearby.

Sift the 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar with all the confectioner's sugar.

Combine the egg whites, vinegar and salt in the bowl of a mixer; beat on medium-high for several minutes, until the whites thicken and hold soft peaks. Gradually add the 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each spoonful is added. Once you've added it all, beat for 2 minutes more. Switch to a spatula and fold in the granulated and confectioners sugar mixture.

If you'd like to color the meringue, put a heaping spoonful of meringue in a separate smal bowl and add a few drops of color, stirring to blend, and then fold the colored meringue into the large amount of white meringue. Leave it streaky. Repeat the process to achieve a more intense color.

Scoop or spoon 5 or 6 balls of meringue onto each sheet. Leave about 2" between the mounds. Dip the tablespoon into the cold water, shake off excess and use the rounded bottom of the spoon to make a small indent in the meringue. Working with the spoon perpendicular to the meringue and gently turning the spoon, enlarge the indent; this will create a nest for the cream and berries.

Bake without opening the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop open the door. Leave meringues in the oven for 2 hours or overnight.

To fill and finish: beat the heavy cream, adding sugar and vanilla to taste. You can add food coloring if you desire.

Put a dab of raspberry jam in the nest. Dollop in whipped cream and top with raspberries.

From Dorie Greenspan
Valentine's Day, 2016

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