Meringue is a cook’s miracle. Mostly egg whites and air, this cloudlike mass is easy to create. But a speck of fat can ruin the whole thing. Make sure there’s no yolk in there, and wipe your tools with vinegar to remove any traces of oil or fat.
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 egg whites, no trace of yolk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Spread almonds on a cookie sheet and toast 5 minutes. Cool, then chop roughly. Toss 1/2 cup almonds with confectioners’ sugar, reserving remaining 1/4 cup for garnish; set nuts aside.
Reduce oven to 225°. Wet a paper towel with white vinegar and wipe the bowl and whisk of a mixer. Place egg whites in bowl, add cream of tartar and salt, then whisk on medium-high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add granulated sugar in a very slow stream while whisking, until meringue is glossy and forms stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Gently fold in the sugared almonds with a spatula. Drop tablespoons of batter onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or nonstick baking pad. Bake 1-1/2 hours. Turn oven off. Let meringues stand in closed oven with the light on at least 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with the remaining almonds. Store in an airtight container.
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