Apricot Jam and Coconut Meringue Hertzoggies

Hertzoggies

Discott/Wikimedia Commons

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
156 Calories
10g Fat
16g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 156
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 82mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 2g
Calcium 15mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These delicious South African pastries, known both as tarts and cookies, will be more familiar as hertzoggies to some South African readers, but they also go by hertzogkoekie. Sweet and delicious, with the perfect amount of fluffy meringue and apricot jam, the pastries were created in Cape Malay as a sign of political affiliation to General James Barry Munjick Hertzog, the third prime minister of the Union of South Africa, who was said to love these confections. Easily made with store-bought ingredients such as puff pastry and already-made apricot jam, the pastries can also be assembled with homemade pastry, that is if you have the time and skill to fold and chill your dough to create the perfect layers. If you don't, and still want to enjoy these tasty treats, already-made pastry makes equally delicious hertzoggies without much hassle. Enjoy them with a cup of tea, the traditional South African way, or with your favorite coffee beverage. Great as desserts, or mid-morning or afternoon treats, these beautiful pastries can be a pretty addition to desserts bars, brunch displays, and showers of any kind.

This unique Afrikaner tea time treat might have been born thanks to the influence of the Dutch—dominant in the area until 1795 and then again between 1803 to 1806—as apricot, desiccated coconut, and sugar were once rare imports from other Dutch colonies into the Cape Colony. The hertzoggie might have taken inspiration from Dutch apple pie and a vlaaien, a fruit-filled pastry. But no matter how it came to be, the hertzoggie is engraved in South African culture, locally and abroad within the ex-pat colonies all around the world.

It's easily assembled and the only secret to perfect hertzoggies is making a great meringue. If this is your first time making meringue, keep in mind a few things. First, be sure the bowl you are using is spotlessly clean and dry, as any particle or wetness—even a tiny piece of egg yolk—can impede your egg whites from stiffening. Secondly, use eggs at room temperature. Thirdly, add the sugar in stages, as adding it all at once might deflate the fluffy whites. Finally, use a hand mixer or standing mixer, but if all you have is a whisk, use vigorous strength and always give the whites proper time to come together. The leftover pastries can be kept at room temperature, covered, for a couple of days.

Ingredients

  • 1 box ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 6 teaspoons apricot jam
  • 5 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Grease a 12 hole patty pan tray (or mini muffin tray).

  3. Cut 12 rounds out of the ready-rolled pastry to fit the hollows and line the hollows with the pastry rounds.

  4. Spoon 1/2 teaspoons of apricot jam into each hollow.

  5. Combine the superfine sugar and baking powder and set aside.

  6. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold in the sugar mix. Then fold in the coconut.

  7. Spoon a tablespoon of the meringue mixture on top of each jam-filled pastry round.

  8. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.

  10. Enjoy.

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