Add the sugar to the whites. Have ready a hard-wood board which fits the oven. Wet the top well with boiling water, and cover it with sheets of letter-paper. Drop the meringue mixture on this in large spoonfuls, and set in a very slow oven. The secret of a good meringue is to dry, not bake; and they should be in the oven at least half an hour. Take them out when dry. Slip a thin, sharp knife under each one, and put two together; or scoop out the soft part very carefully, and fill with a little jelly or with whipped cream.
PASTRY AND PIES.
In the first place, don’t make either, except very semi-occasionally. Pastry, even when good, is so indigestible that children should never have it, and their elders but seldom. A nice short-cake made as on p. 209, and filled with stewed fruit, or with fresh berries mashed and sweetened, is quite as agreeable to eat, and far more wholesome. But, as people will both make and eat pie-crust, the best rules known are given.
Butter, being more wholesome than lard, should always be used if it can be afforded. A mixture of lard and butter is next best. Clarified dripping makes a good crust for meat pies, and cream can also be used. For dumplings nothing can be better than a light biscuit-crust, made as on p. 208. It is also good for meat pies.
One quart of flour; one even teacup of lard, and one of butter; one teacup of ice-water or very cold water; and a teaspooonful of salt.
Rub the lard and salt into the flour till it is dry and crumbly. Add the ice-water, and work to a smooth dough. Wash the butter, and have it cold and firm as possible. Divide it in three parts. Roll out the paste, and dot it all over with bits from one part of the butter. Sprinkle with flour, and roll up. Roll out, and repeat till the butter is gone. If the crust can now stand on the ice for half an hour, it will be nicer and more flaky. This amount will make three good-sized pies. Enough for the bottom crusts can be taken off after one rolling in of butter, thus making the top crust richer. Lard alone will make a tender, but not a flaky, paste.
One pound of flour; three-quarters of a pound of butter; one teacupful of ice-water; one teaspoonful of salt, and one of sugar; yolk of one egg.
Wash the butter; divide into three parts, reserving a bit the size of an egg; and put it on the ice for an hour. Rub the bit of butter, the salt, and sugar, into the flour, and stir in the ice-water and egg beaten together. Make into a dough, and knead on the molding-board till glossy and firm: at least ten minutes will be required. Roll out into a sheet ten or twelve inches square. Cut a cake of the ice-cold butter in thin slices, or flatten