Mini almond meringues from the villages of Alpujarras
The recipe for these chewy, nutty meringues is from my book, The Real Taste of Spain. They are a speciality of the villages of the Alpujarras, in the Sierra Nevada mountains to the south of Granada. Soplillo refers to their airy, puffy texture.
For more tips on making meringues, read the article that inspired this dish.
200g whole, blanched almonds
3 large egg whites
250g caster sugar
Zest and juice of ½ a small unwaxed lemon
Preheat the oven to 150C. Cover 2 baking trays with silicone paper (baking parchment). Bake the almonds for about 10 mins until lightly roasted. Do take care though—they can burn in a matter of secs.
Pulse the nuts in a food processor for a few secs, breaking them down to the size of pine kernels.
Whisk the egg whites until they reach the firm, stiff peak stage and cling to the bowl.
Now add ½ of the sugar, 1 spoon at a time, whisking between each addition. The meringue should become very shiny. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest.
Mix the almonds and remaining sugar together and carefully fold the mixture into the meringue.
Dab a tiny amount of the meringue between the paper and baking tray to secure the paper. Using 2 spoons, place dollops of the mixture on to the paper, leaving a little space for expansion. This will make approximately 36 ping pong ball-sized meringues.
Place the meringues in the oven for about 25-30 mins, until pale, golden and slightly cracked. It is an idea to turn the trays around after 15 mins as few ovens have absolutely even temperatures throughout.
I love to serve these slightly chewy meringues with vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream and sultanas soaked in dark, sweet Pedro Ximénez sherry.
These will keep in an airtight tin for a couple of weeks.
Recipe: Jenny Chandler