We all know it’s birds that make the eggs, so before I get to any bunny-inspired Easter posts, I thought I’d do these little meringue nests. I made them on the weekend for lunch at the house of a friend who can’t have any wheat products. I always forget and make cake (well, maybe I’m just always making cake…) so this time I managed to remember and made meringues.
These were a light pastel purple color, just for fun, and because when my four-year-old helps in the kitchen most things end up some kind of unnatural shade.
We filled these with vanilla pudding because a) it’s delicious, and b) it’s the perfect thing to do with all your leftover egg yolks. I’ll try and post that recipe soon, but these would also be gorgeous filled with buttercream, or chocolate.
Difficulty: Meringue can be a little fiddly, but with plenty of time, it’s not difficult.
Kid-friendly?: My kids loved these, and keep asking hopefully if there are any leftover.
Roadtest verdict: A perfect Easter treat.
Easter meringue nests
Inspiration: Sweetapolita not only has a fantastic name, but her pastel meringue nests (with feathers in them!) are much more perfect than my messy piping. How do people get such perfect piping?
Serves: Makes around 12 nests
4 egg whites
1/2 cup castor sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Large baking tray lined with baking paper
Electric beaters, either freestanding or handheld
Piping bag with a medium star tip
- Pre-heat the over to a low temperature – 110 degrees Celsius.
Carefully separate your whites from the yolks. It’s important not to get any yolk in the whites. I usually break them one at a time into a cup, before putting them in the mixing bowl. Save the yolks – they’re great for vanilla pudding.
- Leave the egg whites to warm to room temperature, as they whip more easily.
- Using the electric beater, beat the eggs, salt and cream of tartar to soft peaks. (This means that when you lift the beaters out, they leave the egg whites standing up a little, but the peaks flop over after a second or two.)
- Add the sugar slowly, and beat the meringue until sugar is dissolved – about 10 minutes. This will also give you an fabulous aerated and stiff meringue.
- Add the food coloring and fold or beat it through the meringue.
- Working quickly, put the meringue in the piping bag with the star tip, and pipe a nest-sized circle onto the baking paper-lined tray. My nests were about 6 cm in diameter.
- On top, pipe a ring around the border of the circle, and then two more rings on top.
- Pipe as many nests as you can until you run out of meringue.
- Put in the lower half of the oven, and cook for about 90 minutes, until they are dry to the touch. They may need more depending on the oven and the humidity of where you live. I think I gave mine an additional 20 mins or so. If you have two trays, swap them halfway through.
- Turn off the oven, and leave the meringues in there with the door closed until they have completely cooled.
- They should be dried through. They can be kept several days at room temperature in an air-tight container.
- Only fill them with vanilla pudding and Easter eggs before serving, or the meringue will soften.