Nutty Meringues (Quall auf Sand)

Qualle auf Sand
This is a delicate sand-colored pastry dusted with spelt flour. The name Qualle auf Sand, which literally translates as “jellyfish on sand,” was inspired by the sandy beaches of the North Sea. Although some restaurants and cafés along the coast and in Hamburg serve this treat, the recipe is more or less a well-kept secret and is not found in many cookbooks. The following recipe is from the Witthüs, a legendary teahouse on the island of Sylt. It closed its doors in 1994, after providing a haven for freezing beach walkers, including my own family, for more than three decades. At the Witthüs, the pastry was topped with whipped cream and a circle of pineapple chunks, but you can let your imagination play: fresh fruit salad, rum-soaked cherries, or chocolate shavings, as long as you stick to the dollops of whipped cream, which is a must.
Course Dessert
Cuisine North Sea
Keyword Hazelnuts, Meringue, Walnuts
Region North Sea
Servings 16 pieces

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 5 eggs separated
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp spelt flour

Instructions

  • Grind half of the hazelnuts and half of the walnuts very finely in a food processor.
  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line an 11x15-inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper and grease well.
  • Beat the egg yolks with ½ cup of the confectioners’ sugar. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they stand in stiff peaks, then gradually incorporate the remaining ½ cup confectioners’ sugar. Combine the ground nuts and chopped nuts with the egg yolk mixture. Fold in the egg whites. Spread the mixture evenly on a jellyroll pan and dust with the spelt flour, using a sifter for even distribution.
  • Bake the meringue for 2 to 3 hours, or until the inside is completely dry. If the top turns brown but the inside is still soft, reduce the heat to 200 to 225 degrees F.
  • Cool and carefully remove the parchment paper. Cut into 4-inch squares and store the meringues in a tin, with parchment paper between each layer. They keep for several weeks.
Recipes courtesy of Nadia Hassani, Spoonfuls of Germany