It’s cherry season so I’m going to share my favorite cherry recipe with you.
(This came from a Martha Stewart magazine several years ago.)
Makes about 50
The meringue shells can be made a couple of days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Once assembled, I find it’s best to consume them right away. I usually make a tray-full, take it through the room, then go back to the kitchen and make more. That way the meringues don’t get soggy.
4 lg. egg whites
1 c. granulated sugar
Pinch cream of tartar
¾ c. crème fraîche
50 cherries, about 1 lb. pitted
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to fit 2 baking sheets. Set aside.
- A hint about pitting the cherries. I like to keep the stem on, so I use a paring knife to cut about ¾ of the way around the cherry – from about 2 o’clock around the bottom to 10 o’clock with the stem facing up. Then I use my clean thumbnail and forefinger to scoop the pit out.
- Combine the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the whites are warm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to cook the egg.
- Heat the oven to 200°. Transfer the bowl to the electric mixer, and whip. Start on low speed, and gradually increase the speed to high, until stiff glossy peaks form, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Fit a pastry bag with a Wilton #16 star tip (I use a #30 because that’s what I have), and fill bag with the meringue. Pipe onto baking sheet in 1” circles. You want to have a hole in the middle, where the crème fraiche is going to go. You may place them about 1 ½ ” apart, as the meringue is not going to rise. Put the sheets in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 175° and bake, another 35 or 40 minutes, until the meringue has dried but is still white. Touch one lightly with your finger, if the meringue is sticky, it’s not ready. The trick here is to not let them brown. Transfer the parchment sheets to a wire cooling rack. (You can just pull it from one end and slide it off the baking sheet onto the wire rack.)
- Fit a pastry bag with a plain round tip and fill the bag with crème fraîche (I actually just use a spoon and my finger for this step.) Pipe the crème fraîche into each cup and top with a cherry. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve!
- Check out our cherry art here. I have a thing for cherries and tulips.