We needed biscuits and we needed biscuits badly. I go through stages where I don’t make anything sweet because “I’m too fat” or “They are bad for us” or a similar wimpish reason. I don’t know why I refrain. When there is nothing sweet in the house, we just go on a rampage searching here and there for anything remotely sweet. We have even been known to eat cooking chocolate when things were desperate.
I decided to do something about it. I went to eatyourbooks and typed in “pumpkin”. I know that sounds like a strange thing to search for when you want to make a biscuit but the freezer is overflowing with pumpkins. My endeavour to keep them in the cool room over summer didn’t work. About Christmas time, I noticed they were going soft so it was a matter of chopping them up and freezing them or throw them in the compost bin. Those who know me would know I chose the freezer.
I couldn’t find any pumpkin recipes that sounded as good as mum’s pumpkin fruit cake, spicy pumpkin loaf or spiced pumpkin and walnut muffins.
Next, I searched under “semolina”. As I have mentioned before, I have an inordinate amount of semolina. I bought two packets of coarse semolina thinking it was fine and then lots of packets of fine when I found some.
My heart was not in the semolina search. I don’t really like semolina biscuits.
I then decided to search for one of my favourite ingredients, “walnuts”. Walnut shortbread by Damien Pignolet in French popped up. I have been thinking of making some shortbread since my Christmas effort left a bit to be desired. I got French off the shelf and checked out the recipe. It was a jackpot – a post will be forthcoming. On a few pages before the walnut shortbreads recipe was this recipe for “Widow’s Kisses” which is, essentially, a walnut meringue. I love meringues. They use up the inevitable supply of egg whites I have in the freezer… and I love walnuts. I was also intrigued by the use of the grated zest of green (unripe) lemon. It is not citrus season here so unripe was all I could get my hands on. Perfect.
Damien advised that the recipe comes from a Viennese friend who migrated to Australia in the late 1930’s.
- 4 egg whites
- ⅛ tsp white vinegar
- 240g caster sugar
- finely grated zest of 1 green (unripe) lemon
- 100g walnuts, chopped
- cocoa, for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 160°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Beat the egg whites until frothy.
- Add the vinegar, increase the speed a little and, gradually, add the sugar.
- Continue beating until stiff peaks are formed.
- Using a metal spoon, fold in the zest and walnuts.
- Using two dessertspoons, drop rough mounds of meringue onto the prepared baking tray.
- Bake for one hour then reduce the temperature to 70ºC and bake until dry (about 30 minutes or so).
- Allow to cool then store in an airtight container.
- Dust with cocoa to serve.
If you like this recipe, you may also like my hazelnut meringue recipe. Here is the link.
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I love meringues too Glenda and they look delicious, still love your Mum’s pumpkin fruit cake 🙂
I am sure she smiles every time you say that.
I’m concerned about your freezer, is it a scary place to visit or a haven of rescue? I too love meringue and could just chomp the lot off in a single sitting. Love the name! Walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, all nuts=yum in meringue. Cheers, Maree 🙂
Its a bit of both really. When there are little containers of spag bol in the freezer, I love it. But when I blanch 20 bags of beans in the hope I will eat them over winter and summer comes again with its bean crop it is a dreaded place to visit. I do try to keep it under control and having three dogs is a blessing in more ways than one. The last 2 bags of beans have moved up to the dog’s shelf.
They look amazing… I know I wouldn’t be able to stop at one… or ten. I’ve never had a problem with too much pumpkin, although I may not ever have had the numbers you do. Since I now have access to my bbq with side-burner we now eat chilli pumpkin stir fry at least once a week.
Hi Ella, How I the country life treating you?
We’re getting there… enjoying country life but had underestimated time & effort to settle in. By way of a progress report I have a few pics and a blog post in my head… soon.
Oh, I know the feeling of searching desperately for something sweet on the odd occasion. The cupboards and fridge get opened so many times hoping for a sweet miracle. Not even a can of sweetened condensed milk is safe when I’m desperate for a fix. Your meringues look great.
Yvonne, you are clearly a woman of my own heart.
Fabulous name! I was also wondering but see your comments above. They look a little like Almond Rocca. It’s hard to go wrong with meringue isn’t it?
Fiona, Impossible, I think.
They look great and bet they tasted just as nice.
For your pumpkin problem a salad made from small bits of roasted pumpkin (some bits over cooked to black is yum) , chick peas (tinned, drained, rinsed) and sliced red onion with a balsamic glaze as dressing is really delicious. Piled up on a flat, white plate, it looks very attractive and tastes even better. Love your blog. Robyn
Hi Robyn. I think I will try that. I couldn’t let the pumpkins go to waste and it will be a while before this year’s are ready. Thanks for the compliment and thanks for commenting.
These sound delicious Glenda, I’m a sucker for anything with walnuts. I read somewhere that the French sometimes call limes green lemons……
Damien Pignolet would know the difference though.
I have a big bag of walnuts waiting to be used. These look lovely. will give them a go. I imagine they keep well in tin?
Ours are all gone. I am afraid we like a meringue in this house.
Sound really spectacular. I’ve not heard of using unripe lemon zest before. Although, I have seen sugared whole unripe lemons (about the size of a walnut) for sale here in Athens as sweets. Also, odd that I was just recently thinking of making meringue biscuits with nuts and chocolate chips.
They sound good too Debi.
Do you know how they got their name? I have walnuts and I have egg whites, though an unripe lemon is not something we find over here so it will have to be a ripe one.
No, I was wondering the same thing. I will check out the web.
Anne, I found a few hits (all Austrian) but no explanation.