Royal Meringue Crowns

Beat 10 egg whites on high speed in a clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer until foamy. With mixer going, gradually add 1 cup of granulated sugar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted. Remove bowl from mixer stand and gradually, using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, fold in 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar. (You don’t want to deflate the meringue.)

Preheat oven to 225 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip; pipe it into 2½- to 3-inch circles on the parchment paper-lined pan, one inch apart. Pipe another circle on top of the outer edge of the first one, creating a shallow cup.

Bake meringue cups for two to 2½ hours, or until they feel hard to the touch. Transfer meringue cups from pan to a cooling rack until completely cooled. Once cooled, they can be filled with custard, pudding or whipped cream, and topped with assorted fresh berries. Royal, indeed! (The unfilled cups can also be frozen in a zip-lock freezer bag for up to three months.)

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