From “The Food of Portugal”.
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- Two baking sheets
- Parchment paper (NOT wax paper)
- Electric mixer with a whisk (preferably a standing one because you will be carefully pouring while whisking)
- Combine sugar and water in a medium size, heavy saucepan and set over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is completely dissolved (yes, it will dissolve!)
- Insert a candy thermometer then cook without stirring until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage: 236 F
- This will take some time so don’t go on to the next step yet.
- When the temperature is about 230F, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice and salt until silvery.
- When it’s about 235F, set oven to 300 F
- As soon as the sugar reaches 236F, drizzle it slowly into the egg whites, beating all the while at highest mixer speed.
- Continue beating for 2 to 3 min after all the syrup has been incorporated. The mixture should be very stiff and stand up in peaks.
- Prepare the baking sheets by first putting a few drops at the corners of each sheet and put the parchment paper on it so that it sticks to the cookie sheet.
- Drop meringue by the rounded tablespoonful onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheets. You can also use a pastry bag.
- Bake for 20 min
- Turn the oven down to 200 F and bake for 2 hours
- Turn off the oven and let the meringues dry out in the oven for 1 hour
- Peel the meringues off and store in airtight bags.
- Do not do this on a humid or rainy day!
- If you only have one cookie sheet and you don’t want to halve the ingredients, keep in mind that your second batch will need to wait for at least 1.5 hours.
- You can make a nice variation by sandwiching two meringues around an “Ovos Moles“, which conveniently uses only egg yolks