Just one more week until 2018, and that means two more Sweet Sundays to round off the holiday season on Allerlicious!
This summer, Ilian helped me select two little lavender plants at the garden center. We planted them in a pot that dwarfed them on the porch, but by the end of fall they had stretched out quite a bit and their fragrant buds were right at the height of Ilian’s nose 🙂
He cared well for them – watering, picking at small weeds, and flattening soil upturned by chipmunks.
So as a Christmas Eve morning surprise to bring back sweet memories I set to work last night after bedtime to create lavender-flavored meringues.
Rarely does a recipe work out as imagined on the first try – I am thrilled these little lovelies were so cooperative! Infusing the aquafaba while reducing it and adding food coloring to the meringue base were both firsts, and everything worked like a charm.
The lavender taste comes out perfectly in balance with the lemon, and the color makes for a feast for your eyes, too. Eat with all your senses and enjoy!
- For the organic homemade lavender food coloring:
- 1/2 cup fresh, organic blueberries
- 1/4 cup water For the infused aquafaba:
- 1 1/2 cups aquafaba (from about 2 15oz cans)
- 2 TBsp dried lavender buds, food grade
- 2 tsp lemon zest For the meringues:
- 1/2 cup reduced, infused aquafaba
- 4 oz sugar
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- Prepare the food coloring: Heat up blueberries and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the blueberries start to pop and color seeps into the water, squish them with a potato masher. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until water is dark purple. Strain through a sieve, store liquid in fridge. [I mixed the strained-out solid bits into yogurt with some maple syrup for a very tasty instant snack 😉 ] This can be done a day ahead of baking.
- Infuse the aquafaba: Place aquafaba in a small pot with the lavender and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and, stirring frequently, reduce until you have a 3/4 cup total. Strain out lavender buds and lemon zest, pressing the mass with a spoon to extract flavor. Chill in fridge until aquafaba has the consistency of egg whites, possibly overnight. [The infused aquafaba will have a rather hideous opaque greenish-purple color. This vanishes when you beat the aquafaba and turn it into meringues.] This should be done a day ahead of baking.
- Start to prepare the meringues by mixing the cream of tartar into the sugar until well combined. 4. Whip the aquafaba with a stand mixer or handheld mixer on high for 7 or 8 minutes, until stiff.
- Add the sugar with cream of tartar in a slow stream while whipping.
- Whip for another 7 or 8 minutes on high, until mix clings to sides of bowl and very stiff peaks are formed.
- Add about 5-10 tsp of blueberry food coloring. The amount will depend on the color intensity of your homemade food coloring and your desired meringue color. Beat with mixer on high for about 1 minute until color is fully incorporated.
- Fill the meringue mix into a piping bag with the tip of your choice and pipe onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. [NEVER pipe meringues onto a cookie sheet sprayed with oil. The oil will make the meringues collapse and completely liquefy.]
- Bake at 175F for 4 to 5 hours. Let cool and store in airtight container. Enjoy and share!