Meringues are the quintessential summer dessert because they are so light and versatile. I fill mine with seasonal berries and crème anglaise, but they would be equally delicious accompanied by a sorbet or even ice cream with chocolate sauce. They are fun to make and will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days, so go ahead and make some to impress your friends with your culinary talents.


Meringues
4    large egg whites (yolks reserved for crème Anglaise)
1/2 tsp.    cream of tartar
2/3 cup    sugar

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Bring eggs to room temperature. Mix cream of tartar and egg whites together, then beat on medium/high speed until mixture is white and foamy. Slowly add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Place large dollops onto parchment paper, then create a depression with the back of a spoon. (You do this so it can hold the berries or whatever you want to serve with it.) Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until crispy and slightly golden. This recipe makes about a dozen. (To make chocolate chip meringues, simply fold in 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips before you bake them.)

A (lighter) Crème Anglaise
4    large egg yolks
1/4    sugar
2 cups    whole milk
1 tsp.    vanilla

Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until slightly thickened. In a heavy saucepan, heat milk until bubbles form around edges. Slowly whisk in egg mixture, adding in a very thin stream to prevent eggs from cooking. Stir constantly for about two minutes. Remove from heat and continue stirring for about two more minutes. Stir in vanilla and set aside. This can be kept for 5 to 7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes about two cups of sauce.


Where to find local produce
Living a majority of the time in a place without a decent grocery and no fresh produce to speak of, I have really come to appreciate New Orleans’ farmers markets and try to hit at least one each time my family and I come to town. The produce is really amazing and I always end up loving the baked goods, fresh flowers, herbs and my personal favorites, the homemade cheeses and fresh dairy products. I tend to always try to gear my menus around what’s seasonal and nothing is more inspiring than the wonderful array of freshly picked produce available at these markets. It’s definitely worth the trip!

Area Farmers Markets

Covington Farmers Market
Wed. 3 p.m.-7 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Covington City Hall, 609 N. Columbia St., Covington
892-1873

Crescent City Farmers Market

Tues. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.,
Uptown Square, 200 Broadway
Sat. 8 a.m.- Noon,
700 Magazine St. (at Girod St.)
www.crescentcityfarmersmarket.org (This Web site also lists more farmers markets, including those in outlying parishes and in Mississippi.)

Gretna Farmer’s Market
Sat. 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Huey P. Long Avenue, between Third and Fourth streets, Gretna
362-8661

Upper 9th Ward Market

Sat. 1 p.m.- 4 p.m., rain or shine
Holy Angels Convent,
3500 St. Claude Ave.
(at Gallier St.)
www.dnmc.org

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