It’s no secret that nearly everyone at Martha Stewart Living especially Martha loves meringue, and these billowy puffs, with their distinctive peaks and berries-and-cream filling, illustrate why. The cupcakes need to bake for about three hours, so plan accordingly. And avoid making meringues on a humid day, as they will never become crisp.
- Yield: 12
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 1 cup crème fraîche
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Strawberry and Raspberry Compote (recipe follows), chilled
- Preheat oven to 225°F. Line every other cup of two standard muffin tins with paper liners (so meringues cook evenly); coat liners with cooking spray. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk egg whites, salt, vinegar, and vanilla until frothy. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating 2 minutes and scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Continue whisking until stiff, glossy (but not dry) peaks form.
- Transfer meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a plain coupler (no tip), and pipe equally into lined cups so meringue is about 2 inches above rims, swirling the tops into a peak. Clean around edges so meringue is not touching the tins. Bake until meringues are just beginning to color and are completely dry on the outside but still soft in the middle (a toothpick inserted at base of top, through the side, should have moist but cooked crumbs attached), 3 to 3¼ hours, rotating tins after 1½ hours of baking. Remove from oven. Immediately remove meringues from tins; gently peel off liners. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
- To finish, whisk together crème fraîche and heavy cream until soft peaks form. Using a serrated knife (and a gentle sawing motion), gently slice off tops (don’t worry if they crack); reserve. Spoon some compote onto bottom of each cupcake, then spoon whipped-cream mixture over compote. Replace tops and serve immediately.