Kumquat Vanilla Bean Meringues

Make a pretty dessert that will bring a bright change to your Easter menu!

Becky Low shares her recipe for Kumquat Vanilla Bean Meringues.

3 large egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup chopped roasted nuts (pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts)

1 cup whipping cream
2-4 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup creme fraiche (may use 2-cups whipping cream instead)*

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

1. MERINGUE – Separate egg whites from yolks; be sure no yolk gets into whites. Beat whites on high speed until frothy. Add vanilla and beat; slowly (over 10 minutes) add sugar 1-tablespoon at a time beating constantly. Fold in roasted nuts. Drop by spoonful onto prepared baking sheet making 12-16 mounds. Bake 30-minutes; reduce heat to 200 and continue to bake 1-hour longer. Turn off oven and allow meringues to cool inside oven. Store in air-tight container for about a week.

2. KUMQUATS – Wash, thinly slice and remove seeds from kumquats. (Tip: slice 2-3 thin slices from the end and gently squeeze seeds into a strainer over a bowl, add juices from bottom of bowl to kumquats). Combine water and sugar in saucepan, place over medium heat, stir to dissolve sugar. While sugar/water is heating split vanilla bean and scrape seeds; add seeds and pod to sugar in saucepan. Bring to a boil, add kumquats, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until kumquat skins are translucent and syrup has slightly thicken (approximately 15-25 minutes). Use the jelly test for doneness – dip a metal spoon in syrup, turn spoon sidewise and allow syrup to run off the side of the spoon. The syrup will begin to form a sheet as it drips from the edge of the spoon – the more sheet that forms the stiffer the kumquat gel will be. Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

3. TO SERVE: Whip cold cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form; fold creme

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