These meringues were inspired by the Orange Pistachio Cake I made for Rebecca's half birthday. As I have mentioned previously, I have several friends who cannot eat gluten, one of whom would be attending this birthday celebration. I remember when I couldn't eat gluten (or dairy or soy...), I really hated going to events where everyone else got to eat dessert while I got to sit and watch them eating dessert, pretending that it wasn't a big deal that I didn't get any! I think this is one reason why whenever possible, I try to find a sweet to share with my gluten-free girls. These meringues got rave reviews from both the gluten-free crowd and those that ate cake. The other benefits? They don't require going to the store and investing in a variety of gluten-free flours AND if stored in an airtight container, they stay good for weeks.
I actually wasn't going to blog about them, but they received such positive reviews I changed my mind!
Orange Pistachio Meringues
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon orange zest, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/8 teaspoon rose water [optional]*
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pistachios, finely diced
*If rose water isn't a staple in your kitchen, there is no need to go out and buy it. Just just leave it out or substitute almond extract.
Preheat oven 250 degrees.
In a large electric stand mixer, use whisk attachment to beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the orange zest, cardamon, cream of tarter, and rose water. Beat on high until glossy and peaks form. While the mixer is on, add the sugar a quarter cup at a time. Once all the sugar is incorporated, gently fold in the diced pistachios.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Working quickly, spoon egg whites into piping bags and pipe meringues onto parchment paper. They don't need to be placed very far apart; they won't expand much. The uncooked meringue will start to fall - it's like it's melting! - if it isn't piped onto baking sheets and placed in the oven fairly quickly. If it starts to do this, place bowl in the refrigerator to slow it down. Do not, as I did, try to re-beat the mixture. It will turn inot a big egg white puddle :)
Garnish with orange zest if desired. Bake for 2 hours, turning cookie sheet halfway through.
Let cool before peeling off parchment paper. Store in an airtight container.