I grew up on an egg farm and — as you may have heard before, ahem — I’ve picked up more eggs in my lifetime than most people will ever see. While eggs were plentiful in the farm kitchen, we didn’t eat them to excess so I have no aversion to them. In fact, I tend to return again and again to recipes that depend on the alchemy of eggs to elevate other ingredients (literally and figuratively).
For instance, there are quite a few meringue and choux recipes here at Urban Cottage Life, like this one and this one too. And I don’t see any reason not to continue coming up with egg-based concoctions to whip up in the cottage kitchen. Today, I’m offering another take on meringue, this time fashioned as a bark.
My inspiration comes from the recipe for Toasted Coconut-Almond Meringue Bark in Shauna Sever’s new book, Real Sweet, which explores using the less-refined sugars that many of us are just getting to know. I’ve been playing around with things like cane sugar, coconut nectar, maple syrup (but of course!) and coconut sugar for some time now with pleasing results, like these peanut butter cookies.
Anyway, I was at the natural food store one day with the the idea of meringue bark on my mind (yes, this is just the kind of thing I might be thinking about if you bump into me at the store), when I saw a packet of freeze-dried pomegranate arils. I’d never used them before, and since I was thinking about meringue bark … well, I think you can guess where this story goes.
Really, a meringue bark is just a different way to form meringue. Instead of faffing about with piping bags or scoops, you spread the meringue mixture onto a sheet tray and slice it after it’s baked. It’s a great method for me on days when my wrists are acting up, or just when I only have a bit of time to get something into the oven.
The dried pomegranate adds colour and texture, and just a touch of the exotic. There’s nothing like mixing the familiar with the relatively unknown to spark conversation around the dessert tray.
Pomegranate Coconut Meringue Bark
The inspiration for this recipe was Shauna Sever’s Toasted Coconut-Almond Meringue Bark in Real Sweet. I made a number of changes, including substituting granulated cane sugar for the light muscovado that her recipe calls for, simply because that’s what I had on hand.
- Note: this recipe calls for freeze-dried pomegranate arils. I haven’t tried fresh, but I think they would have too much moisture to result in a crisp meringue.
Preheat the oven to 225℉ and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- 2 egg whites
- pinch salt
- 1/3 cup granulated cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp raspberry vinegar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp freeze-dried pomegranate arils
- 1 to 2 tsp turbinado sugar
Using a mixer (unless your arms are much stronger than mine), whip the eggs whites along with the salt on medium high speed until they become frothy. Stop the machine, add the sugar and then resume mixing at the same speed for about a minute, until the sugar is well-incorporated. Stop the mixer again and sprinkle in the vinegar and cornstarch. Whip at the highest speed until the egg whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks — in other words, until it looks like a meringue.
Sprinkle the coconut and the 1/3 cup of dried pomegranate over the meringue and fold in with a large spatula, just until evenly distributed so as not to deflate the mixture.
Dollop the meringue onto the prepared baking tray, then spread to an even thickness of about 1/3-inch (not quite a centimetre). Sprinkle with the tablespoon of pomegranate and the turbanado sugar. Place into the preheated oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. When it’s done the outside will have coloured lightly, and the meringue will be crisp with just a hint of stickiness in the centre.
Cool on the baking tray, then slice or break into pieces. Store in a tightly sealed container for a few days. A word to the wise, considering the muggy weather we’ve been having here: try to use them faster in humid conditions or the bark may lose its crispness and become sticky.