12.3.10

Oeufs à la Neige


This was a favourite dessert in both France and North America alike until recently.  I have never made this but years ago was served this dessert at a friend's house.  I didn't fully appreciate the effort until making it now.  It is like eating clouds!  I really enjoyed it.

Oeufs à la Neige             from The Joy of Cooking

4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 t vanilla
¼ t cream of tartar
¼ t salt
2/3 c sugar, preferably superfine

Beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.  Then add the vanilla, cream of tartar and salt.  Continue to beat until soft peaks are formed.  Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat on high speed until the peaks are thick and glossy.

Line a baking sheet with a thin tea towel or two layers of paper towels.  Pour 2” of water into a large skillet and heat to 180F (or until tiny bubbles form along the bottom of the pan).  Adjust the heat to maintain this temperature.  It must not simmer.

Using a 3 to 4 ounce ice cream scoop or a 1/3 to ½ cup measuring cup, scoop up a slightly heaping mound of meringue.  Round the top of the mound with your fingertips to form an egg shape.

Drop the meringue into the skillet.  If you are using a cup scrape the egg out with a rubber spatula.  Preparing 5 to 8 meringues at a time (or as many as will fit in the skillet), poach the meringues for 2 minutes on each side, turning once with a slotted spoon.

When done they should feel firm and bouncy all around.  If soft spots remain, flip the meringues onto their undercooked sides and poach a bit longer.  Remove the meringues from the skillet with the slotted spoon, briefly hold them aloft to drain, and set each one on the lined baking sheet.  Poach all the meringues in the same manner.

Prepare a custard sauce and pour it into a wide, deep glass dish or bowl, then float the meringues on the custard.  For a classic oeufs à la neige, prepare caramel glaze.  Cool it slightly before drizzling the hot caramel over the dessert by spoonfuls, waving the spoon to create a delicate filigree of threads. 

Serve at once or refrigerate up to 12 hours.

12 comments:

  1. What a feat! And the pics are cloudlike!

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  2. Another great picture,Sarah! I've always wanted to try these. You make it sound soooo easy! I love the spun sugar on top!

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  3. That's not dessert, that's a work of art!

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  4. I have a dearly beloved who would certainly adore these! Thanks!

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  5. You've done it again Sarah, you've taken an otherwise complex recipe/proceedure and made it seem obtainable by us ordinary folks :) Good job! The pictures turned out fantastic, I would love to try those clouds with golden threads. Yum!

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  6. Gorgeous!! Good enough to eat:)

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  7. I know I would love this; like eating clouds; great picture!
    Rita

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  8. L'un de mes desserts préférés.
    Une belle réalisation. Très jolie décoration.
    Bon weekend.

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  9. You are all so kind! That's why I love blogging! The hardest part, believe it or not, were the threads of spun sugar! It took awhile to figure out how to spin them. Then I realized that I had to stretch and then go back and touch and stretch and touch. They don't just spin dripping from the spoon.

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  10. That is one delicious site! this is so juicy like my juicy couture terry

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  11. I will have to spend some time here... the risotto looks deadly - then I saw this and have always wanted to make it - then the sweet potato gnocci - I wish I had a next door neighbour like you. I miss the neighbours we had as children that would run back and forth and share recipes and cooking ideas with my mom. Wish we were closer.
    :)
    Valerie

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