Here I combine two meringue flavors in one pastry bag and pipe them into rose shapes. (Other times I paint the sides of my pastry bag so a swirl of color descends as I pipe my little masterpieces.) Taking just a little extra time for details—like piping instead of plopping—goes a long way in creating a memorable cloud of deliciousness. Sandwich two crunchy beauties around a touch of fluffy meringue-based seven-minute frosting, and you’ve just made the Cadillac of meringue pastries.

Ingredients

FOR THE MERINGUE:

  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon distilled white vinegar or cream of tartar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 Cup (200 g) superfine or baker’s sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon orange extract (not orange oil)
  • 2 drops orange food coloring (optional)

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 5 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon orange extract

Preparation

To make the meringue:

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 225ºF (107°C). Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper.

Step 2:

Transfer the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high until just foamy and add the salt, vinegar, and vanilla bean paste.

Step 3:

With the mixer on high, add the superfine sugar a scant tablespoon at a time, letting it trickle in slowly (I count to ten). If the sugar isn’t properly integrated and melted into the egg white mixture, your meringue will break and begin to weep while baking.

Step 4:

Beat the egg whites and sugar until very stiff , white, and glossy.

Step 5:

Place half of the meringue in a clean bowl, leaving the remaining half in the mixing bowl. Place the orange extract and orange food coloring (if using) into the mixing bowl and whisk on high until fully incorporated.

Step 6:

Carefully transfer the plain meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, working the meringue into the bag so it fills up only one side (you don’t have to be perfect).

Step 7:

Spoon the orange meringue into the other side of the pastry bag. On the prepared pans, pipe the meringue into rosettes, starting in the center and carefully spiraling out until you’ve created a 3-inch (7.5-cm) rosette.

Step 8:

Bake for 2 hours, or until the exterior is crisp and sounds hollow when you tap the underside. You can store the meringues in an airtight, moisture-free container for up to 2 weeks.

To make the filling:

Step 1:

In the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, granulated sugar, corn syrup, vanilla bean paste, salt, orange extract, and ¼ cup (60 ml) water.

Step 2:

Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the temperature of the mixture reaches 180ºF (82°C).

Step 3:

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk the mixture until you achieve very stiff, white, glossy peaks.

To assemble:

Step 1:

Pipe a silver dollar–size dollop of the filling onto the flat side of a meringue rosette and sandwich with a second meringue.

Step 2:

Serve the assembled meringue tarts immediately.