When I make custards, puddings, crème caramel and other desserts with egg yolks, I often have egg whites left over, which I freeze. Then, when I am running out of those small freezing containers, it's time to make meringue. This is a crushed version, coffee- or chocolate flavored. Both go well with vanilla ice-cream. —Green Card Gardener
instant espresso or unsweetened cocoa, to taste
Canola oil or another neutral-tasting oil for spraying
If using frozen egg whites, thaw them in the refrigerator.
Mix the sugar with the instant espresso.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil sprayed with oil.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are very stiff, gradually adding the sugar and the vanilla.
Spread the batter evenly onto the aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes, until dry to the touch. Remove the pan from the oven and leave the oven on. Transfer the meringue onto a large cutting board and peel off the aluminum foil. It’s OK if it breaks into many pieces, as it will be crushed anyway.
Coarsely chop the meringue with a large knife and spread it out on the jelly roll pan. Bake for another 30 minutes, until the meringue has barely any moist spots left. Turn off the oven but leave the meringue in with the door closed, which will dry it further.
After the meringue is cooled completely, store in tin cans. It keeps for several weeks.