Legend has it that a properly beaten bowl of egg whites will stay in the bowl if you lift it upside down over your head. While I am completely confident that this recipe will impress even the most demanding of dinner guests -- or even just dining companions -- I have never tested this theory. It's sort of like the idea that you test the doneness of spaghetti by throwing a strand against your wall. Seems like a lot of risk for something that could be achieved by slightly less potentially messy methods.
This recipe was inspired by a trip to the Indian section of my local market. Amid the ginger, cardamom and limes, I found some Alphonso mango puree. This golden lusciousness, richly sweet liquid would be sauce enough for some gooey centered meringues. To balance the dish, some creme fraiche would be needed, and a zesting of tropical scented lime.
The meringues need to be timed correctly so that they remain chewy and soft. I like to make one large meringue per person, which should not take much more than 30 minutes, but it depends on whether your oven runs hot or cold.
So time the meringues right, dress them well -- beat your egg whites thoroughly -- and there will be no egg on your face...
Meringues with mango sauce and creme fraiche
4 egg whites
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Mango or other fruit sauce
Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Beat in vanilla, then continue to beat, adding sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, until egg whites go glossy and stiff.
Line a tray with baking parchment and drop meringue onto the sheet, sized according to your wish.
Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, depending on size. For grapefruit size meringues, 45 minutes will still keep them gooey inside. For tangerine size, even 30 minutes might be too much.