Saturday, 4 February 2012


I know everyone is into meringue the past few years. But I have been trying to perfect them for at least 30 years. By perfect, I don't mean your standard French or Italian meringue. I mean those my Auntie Fanny made. YES, I had an Auntie Fanny. My grandfather's sister, from Kastoria in Northern Greece, who spoke Spanish as her first language. Sephardic. I saw her last maybe in 1972 or 3. She made these when I was still very small. And I've been trying to do it ever since then. Seriously. And on a completely random whim, after using a ton of egg yolks, there were all these whites. And I think I've finally figured it out: almond extract! Here's how. Whip egg whites by hand with a jot of cream of tartar. Tiny pour of vanilla and almond extracts. Add powdered sugar, about a cup per three whites. Beat until stiffer than the devil. Drop onto paper bags torn up, I remember this detail. Bake for about 4 or 5 hours at 200 degrees. Let cool. For me they evoke her apartment in NY, that was very high up with a window open and I remember her worrying that I would fall out. I'd never been so high up in my life. Except for right now.

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