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Studio City residents Jennifer Evans Gardner and Linda K. Jackson, co –authors of Meringue, met over homemade meringue at their respective children’s pre-school potluck many years ago. Gardner brought raspberry meringue tartlets and Jackson shared her meringue cookies dusted with chocolate. Needless to say, their desserts stood out amongst the brownies and cookies on the buffet line — and a friendship and eventual collaboration was born.
Fast forward a decade — Gardner and Jackson’s Meringue demystifies the sweet treat and introduces a whole new world of desserts with recipes that are surprisingly simple, yet sublimely decadent, made of egg whites, sugar, a bit of cream of tartar or vinegar, and air. The co-authors claim that “once you know the basics, you can create sweet magic with meringue cookies, Pavlovas, pies, tarts—even marjolaines and dacquoises.”
Personally, I’ve never given much thought to meringue except for French macarons and lemon meringue pie. Actually, I never realized that there were more variations than just those two types. Moreover, I never thought that home cooks could try it—until now.
In their 224 page culinary tome, complete with 80 recipes and accompanied by the most inviting, luscious photographs by Alexandra Defurio, Gardner and Jackson break down the process of making meringue to the simplest level with tips and techniques that a novice cook or even a child can attempt. Their philosophy is “meringue may be the perfect dessert, but it doesn’t have to look perfect.”
I bought my copy at their book signing last week which was hosted by Frank Leon at his Studio City restaurant, Next Door (he also owns La Loggia andThe Village). Over 200 guests enjoyed an array of hand passed tapas, EPPA Sangria, cocktails fromSouthern Wine & Spirits, and homemade meringue treats, of course.
This is the third book for Gardner who owns Little Feet in the Kitchen Cooking School for Children (where she’s taught the art of meringue), and is also a food, travel and lifestyle reporter for the L.A. Times, Zagat, Huffington Post,Wandermelon and My Daily Find. Jackson, a senior marketing and advertising executive in the food and beverage industry, is a home chef whose specialty desserts have become sought after on the party circuit.
Meringue is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Anthropologie, Book Star and Emerald Forestand retails for $24.99. It’s the perfect holiday gift — gorgeous, well-priced, and best of all for a cookbook — easy to understand. Don’t care about cooking? Meringue is so visually stunning that it’ll spur conversation as a coffee table book!
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