Pinterest and other types of social sites can get you in trouble when it comes to recipes.
A lot of times you’ll have professionals or food stylists make outrageous stuff that gets passed around like mad. The only problem is that if you actually try it, it’s almost impossible to reproduce. (Examples are aplenty and hilarious.)
So, I was a bit skeptical to try out this sort of kitschy idea.
It looks cool, but could it actually be that easy? I’ve never really had a meringue in a savory situation. Would it even taste good?
Turns out the answer is yes, these are easy.
When it comes to taste, the answer is kind of. It depends. Let me explain.
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Separate eggs into whites and yolks. Do this one at a time. If you get even a single drop of yolk into the whites, you’ll have to start over as the whites won’t whip correctly with fat in them.
3) Add cold whites to a bowl of a stand mixer (or you can use a hand mixer or even a whisk). Beat for a minute with a whisk attachment on medium speed. Then add the tartar, turn speed up to medium high, and continue to beat until the whites hold firm peaks, probably another 4-5 minutes.
4) In a large oven-safe skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, use a spoon to scoop meringue into the skillet, making little nests out of the meringue – one for each egg.
5) Transfer hot skillet to oven and bake for five minutes.
6) Remove skillet and carefully roll a yolk into each nest. Return to oven for 8-10 minutes depending on how done you want the yolks cooked.
7) Remove from oven and season with a pinch of salt. Garnish with fresh chives and hot sauce and serve while hot.
Making the Meringue
I’ll talk about my honest opinion on the flavors of these guys at the end, but first let’s make them because I have to admit that I found them really fun to make.
First, you just have to separate your eggs into yolks and whites. I always advise doing this one egg at a time in a separate container and then combining them at the end. If you mess up and get even one drop of yolk in your whites, you’ll have to start all over.
While it’s not completely essential, I like to add a small pinch of cream of tartar to my meringues while they whip. It helps them hold their shape and just makes your life easier. You can’t really taste it in the final product.
Beat the egg whites on medium-high speed for about 5-6 minutes total. A good stand mixer is easiest for this, but you can also use a hand mixer or, if you’re insane – a whisk.
Eventually they should completely hold their shape and you should be able to make a really stiff peak out of the meringue.
Cooking the Pillows
At this point these are super easy to make. The meringue is actually more sturdy than you would think. If you have a nice oven-safe skillet, heat it over medium heat with a small drizzle of oil. Then just spoon in your meringues!
You could also do this on a baking sheet or whatever.
Make sure to make a depression in the meringue for the yolks later.
Bake the meringues for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F. Then carefully roll in your yolks. At this point the meringues will be mostly hard so if you didn’t make a spot for the yolks earlier, you’ll be out of luck.
Return these to the oven to bake for another 8-10 minutes.
I pulled mine around 8 minutes because I wanted to my yolks still on the runny side. If you wanted them more firm, cook them for an extra few minutes.
The meringue whites get slightly browned and crispy on top which is nice.
These actually look pretty cool and impressive. I just seasoned mine with a pinch of salt and some fresh chives. Hot sauce wouldn’t hurt either.
The Truth on Taste
Ok. So here’s the thing. I’m not sure that these were my favorite.
Don’t get me wrong. I ate them all. But, after every bite I was kind of on the fence if I liked them or not. I think it was maybe just a mental thing because I’m used to savory eggs having some heft and volume to them. These were light and fluffy like clouds, but still savory.
It was kind of a strange combo that confused my tastebuds a bit.
That’s not to say they were bad, I’m just not sure they were my favorite egg preparation method.
BUT, I still wanted to post on them for a few reasons. First, I think many people might like the texture/flavor… especially kids!
Second, I wanted to see if anyone else has ever tried anything like this. Thoughts?
Does it go beyond a parlor trick to something that you would make regularly? Leave a comment of course!