Swiss meringue, contrary to the perceived impression, is the easiest meringue to make and use. One of its significant advantages is that egg white is cooked at the very beginning of the process. This takes away all the concerns about raw egg white in creams or desserts with Swiss meringue. It took me a long time to attempt making Swiss meringue. Reading through various techniques of making it, I eventually made my own, suitable to my own kitchen and instruments I had. The first time I used Swiss meringue, it was prepared as a reliable icing on a Paleo Christmas cake. It was a choice of convenience because it was possible to make the meringue, fill pastry bag with it, seal both its ends and keep the meringue with unchanged texture refrigerated for 2-3 days. It was the Swiss meringue based on honey as a sweetener.
One of the disadvantages of Swiss meringue, as any meringue for that matter, is its overwhelming sweet taste, that limits its use as unaltered product. In not very sweet Christmas cake it was appropriate, especially with tart cranberry sauce on top of it. But to create the dish or the product based on Swiss meringue, one has to add another filling with volume that can improve the taste to make it more balanced. Here come my favourite fillers, fruit purees, suitable for improving anything from bread recipes to meat pate.
So if you ever have egg whites left after using egg yolks to make cream, try making Swiss meringue and use it as a base for other desserts. In my first experiments I added 5g to 15g either lemon juice or pitted raspberry puree and baked, practically dried meringues, at 100C for 2 hours to get fully dried and crispy biscuits. Recipe, presented below is for another product – an airy meringue fruit mousse, the dish that allows to have sugar reduced, protein enriched, fruit supplemented delicious dessert. When made with thick fruit puree it can be used as a mousse layer in cakes or as a tick spread on its own. However, when reasonably runny commercial apple puree, paired with very runny pitted raspberries are used, the texture of the product becomes exceptionally airy, allowing to use the product in dishes very similar to traditional Latvian “debesmanna”, or French “floating isles”, where a meringue is floating either in fresh milk of creme anglaise. Swiss meringue fruit mousse can be used freshly made, or set refrigerated overnight.
Set mousse develops more vibrant colour, stronger texture and more distinct tart taste.
recipe 1 for more dense spread (unfortunately no photos)
- 1 egg white from a large egg
- 50g glucose powder
- 120g thick home cooked puree from organic apples, cooked and blended with skin on
- 80g thick plum puree (home-made puree I make cooking fruits to reduce their weight in half, 600g fresh pitted plums with skin on reduced to 300g, blended you can find the process here)
- 80g glucose powder
- 2 leaves gold grade gelatin
recipe 2 for an airy mousse
- 2 egg whites from a large eggs (weight without shell 71g)
- 100g glucose powder
- 350g apple puree, blended from commercial apple pie filling
- 30g puree from pitted frozen raspberries
- 160g glucose powder
- 4 leaves gold grade gelatin
- if you tolerate regular sugar, use it to replace glucose powder
- if using honey as sweetener, be careful not to overload meringue with fruit, the structure of Swiss meringue based on honey has lower capacity to incorporate fruit puree without disintegration into a liquid
all photos presented show recipe 2 preparation
- prepare and mix fruit puree, set 2 table spoons separately for later use to dissolve gelatin
- place fruit puree into a bowl of benchtop mixer
- add glucose powder
- run mixer on high for 5-7 minutes to whip fruit puree
- place egg whites into a bowl, add glucose powder, stir
- arrange double boiler, I use narrow diameter sauce pan with Pyrex glass bowl on top of it, make sure there is a narrow gap between the pan and the bowl for the steam to escape
- heat the bowl, water in a sauce pan below should be simmering
- stir the contents of the bowl constantly, wait until all glucose is dissolved
- thick syrup have to reach the temperature at least 65C
- you can whisk the meringue directly when it is still heated or take it of the sauce pan
- I have observed, that Pyrex glass bowls keep the heat for a very long time, so I just take the bowl to a more convenient position and whisk egg white syrup until thick and glossy meringue is formed
- soak gelatin leaves in cold water
- squeeze excess water from gelatin leaves, add them to reserved fruit puree
- gently heat sauce pan with fruit puree to allow gelatin to dissolve
- add fruit puree and dissolved gelatin mixture to Swiss meringue
- whisk for 1-2 minutes to combine
- transfer the mixture into a bowl of benchtop mixer
- beat on max speed for 8-10-12 minutes
- meringue and fruit mousse is ready
- served fresh from the bowl with milk (only as an example of use)
- to make a dish suitable for this blog dietary requirements serve the mousse on coconut milk creme anglaise or runny fruit stew.
- pour or spoon mousse into glass or quality plastic containers
- refrigerate for 8-10 hours to set
- keep refrigerated
Photo below shows Swiss meringue apple and raspberry mousse set refrigerated for 24 hours.