I made a batch of Pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts) a couple of days ago using eggs from the farm where Charlie and I volunteer. Unfortunately the custard split when i baked then in the oven so I’ll just have to try again before i post the recipe up here!
the problem with making custard tarts is that they only use the egg yolks. I invariably end up with a little bowl of egg whites sitting in the fridge for a week or so before Lucie or i get fed up and throw them away! However this week we are going on holiday and then as soon as we get back we are moving house so we’re on a bit of a drive to use up everything in the fridge and freezer. Having had a rough night with our 6 week old baby, Toby, i was in need of some energy this morning so decided to make meringue. As we had half a packet of hazelnuts in the cupboard as well i thought they might make it a bit more interesting so it ended up as hazelnut meringue.
this is the first time I’ve made a meringue so i got the proportions from the Bourke street bakery cookbook.
3 egg whites (about 100g)
200g caster sugar (or twice the weight of the egg whites)
75g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
How to make it
1) mix the egg white and sugar in a very clean Pyrex bowl, warm gently over a pan of boiled water until all the sugar is dissolved.
2) preheat the oven to 130°C
3) whisk the egg & sugar mix until the mixture forms soft peaks that holds their shape for 5-10 seconds. I would advise using an electric whisk for this as it takes a while!
4) line a 20cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper and pour in the mixture. Scatter the hazelnuts on top.
5) put the meringue mix into the oven and reduce the temperature to about 100°C.
6) bake for about 1hr 20 mins.
7) eat and enjoy!