WANT to “bowl” over guests at your next friendly gathering? Try the latest tasty project from the CT home economists—a baked dessert that can hardly contain itself! To weave their sweet—and completely edible—treat, simply lace together strips of traditional meringue according to the easy instructions provided for you here. Then add a bunch of colorful dyed hand-blown eggs to top off a basket of fun.
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- MATERIALS NEEDED::
- 12-inch-square piece of parchment paper and enough additional paper to line a baking sheet
- 6-inch-diameter ovenproof bowl
- Pastry or plastic bags
- FOR BASKET:
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- FOR EGGS::
- #48 basket-weave tip
- 3 uncooked eggs, washed
- Needle, cake tester or ice pick
- Paper towel
- Heatproof bowl
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- 20 drops of food coloring for each color
- For basket: In a bowl, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Beat in extracts.
- Shape or mold the 12-in. piece of parchment paper over the outside of the 6-in. bowl. Invert bowl onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Secure paper edges by tucking between bowl and sheet.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert basket-weave tip. Fill bag with meringue.
- Begin the first vertical line by overlapping the edge of the paper-covered bowl base by 1/2 in. and pipe meringue down toward the
- baking sheet. Working from the top of the inverted bowl, cover the vertical line with 1-1/2-in. horizontal lines, leaving 1/2 in. between each (see photo above).
- Pipe another vertical line to the right of first vertical line, overlapping ends of horizontal lines. Starting to the right of the first vertical line, pipe 1-1/2-in. horizontal lines over the second vertical line to fill in the open spaces. Repeat process until entire bowl is covered with basket-weave design.
- Pipe a meringue coil pattern on top of the bottom of the bowl to form the basket’s base. Bake basket at 225° for 2 hours.
- Turn oven off and leave the basket in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven; remove bowl. Trim paper 1 in. below the top edge or
- very carefully remove paper.
- Store basket in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- For eggs: Using a needle, cake tester or ice pick, poke a small hole in both ends of each egg.
- Insert needle into egg to break the yolk. Blow hard through one hole to force contents out the other hole; discard contents. Flush
- eggshell gently under running water to clean interior. Carefully dry with paper towel. Let dry overnight.
- For each color desired, place boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Stir in vinegar and food coloring.
- Gently insert a toothpick into the hole at one end of an egg. Submerge egg until desired color is reached. To dry, leave egg attached to one end of toothpick and insert the opposite end into an apple so that the egg is held up. Let dry overnight. Yield: 1 meringue basket.
Originally published as Meringue Basket in Country Woman March/April 1999, p14
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