Meringues

When I mention to people that one of Jade's favorite things about Paris is Meringues they respond with "Oh I like Meringue too, especially on lemon pie!". Notice they say Meringue with no s on the end. This means we're talking about completely different things. Meringue used for Lemon Meringue pie is a soft pillowy substance that when bit into disappears. I've always had difficulty in explaining French Meringues but I've seen them listed in cookbooks as being a cookie and I guess they could be called a cookie so from now on that's what I'll call them - Meringue cookies. A French Meringue is mostly air and sugar but is dried out in an oven at 200 degrees for about 3 hrs. I put my meringue batter in a pastry bag and squirted it onto a sheet pan. They came out crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside just like in Paris. Everytime I make something where I have a bunch of egg whites left over I try to make Meringues and up until lately this act as always ended in failure. I thought the recipe was wrong so I checked another book (Jacque Pepin's) and he says to do them exactly the way the other books say. I finally find a Cook's Illustrated article on them which was what I needed. Thomas Keller says the more simple the food the more difficult it is to cook. I followed Cooks Illustrated's recipe and they came out just like Meringues in Paris! I always like Cooks Illustrated because they explain why they're doing something. It appears you need some sort of acid in order to make them work right. Also I've found that knowing how fast to mixer should be going and for how long is important with this one.