What melts in your mouth, is fat-free and gluten-free, and tastes exactly like pumpkin pie? Pumpkin Meringue! These crisp, delicate little desserts are perfect to serve after a heavy meal, and fun to make. Pipe leaf shapes onto parchment and paint with food coloring for an impressive fall display. If you’re making them for Thanksgiving they should be made the night before, because they’re best if left to sit in the oven overnight. Covered lightly with plastic wrap or foil, they will remain fresh and crunchy for days.
PUMPKIN MERINGUE LEAVES Makes approximately 24 leaves
- 5 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons solid-pack pumpkin
- Food coloring
1. Print out leaf outlines (or trace shapes using cookie cutters or real leaves) on paper and place on baking sheets. Cover the shapes on each pan with a sheet of parchment. 2. Heat oven to 250 F.
3. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium high speed until it holds a soft peak.
4. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together. Add to the egg mixture a little at a time, beating constantly. Turn the mixer speed to high and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks. 5. Add the pumpkin and mix just until combined.
6. Snip the corner off of a gallon size plastic zipper bag. Fill with meringue and outline one leaf. Fill the leaf with more meringue and, using the tip of the bag, smooth it down a little. Without squeezing the bag, use the tip to run down the center of each leaf and over to the points, giving the impression of leaf veins. Repeat until all mixture is used.
7. With a small artists brush and food coloring, gently paint lines in each leaf. For muted colors, water down the food coloring. 8. Bake for 35 minutes. Do NOT open the oven door. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues to dry overnight.