Monday, April 7, 2014

Fruit Meringue Bowl

Would you be interested in a light, refreshing spring dessert - especially after that last rich, chocolaty dessert I posted?  If you are interested, then this recipe is for you.  It starts out with a light, crisp, delicately sweet and beautiful meringue bowl.  Then, a layer of homemade custard is spread in the bottom of the "bowl".  This custard is topped with fresh raspberries, blackberries and sliced strawberries.  The whole dessert is gently topped with a homemade raspberry drizzle and a tiny meringue "hat."

Does that sound wonderful or what? 

Fruited Meringue Bowl

meringue bowl
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

custard filling
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 large egg yolks

fruit topping
  • 1 pint raspberries, fresh
  • 1 pint blackberries, fresh
  • 1 pint strawberries, fresh, sliced

fruit drizzle
  •  1 pint raspberries (frozen is fine)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

For meringue bowls:  Prepare two large baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper. On each piece of parchment paper, trace six 3-inch circles with a pencil.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy and stiff.  Add cream of tarter.  Add sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Add vanilla.  Beat until the whites form a stiff peak.  Place meringue into an icing bag with a large star tip.  Starting at the center of each circle, pipe a circle of meringue. When you reach the outer rim of the circle, pipe 1 to 2 additional layers on top of the border.  In between the bowls, pipe about 14 little stars of meringue - these will be the little 'hats' to top the desserts with.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours, then turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven for 30 additional minutes.  Remove and store in a airtight container until ready to use. 

For custard:  Pour the milk and cream in a pan and place on medium heat.  Let the milk come almost to a boil but do not boil.  In a bowl, place the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch.  Using a whisk, beat thoroughly until light and fluffy.  Add the hot milk to the eggs very slowly while stirring at the same time - this is called "tempering" the eggs.  Pour the egg/hot milk mixture back into the same pan and set heat to low.  The mixture will slowly start to thicken.  Cook and stir until the mixture is thickened.  Place a strainer over a bowl and pour the custard into the strainer - if you have been following my blog for a while you know I always strain my custards, curds, puddings, ect...  Place strained custard in a clean container and cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the top of the custard - this avoids any skin forming and makes a creamer custard.  Refrigerate until chilled and ready to use.  

For raspberry drizzle:  In a small saucepan, add the raspberries, sugar and water.  Simmer for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Pour mixture in blender and puree for about one minute.  Strain through a fine sieve.  Set aside until ready to use.

To put it all together: Place meringue bowls on dessert plates.  Spread a nice amount of custard in the bottom of each bowl.  Top with a mixture of raspberries, blackberries and sliced strawberries.  Drizzle raspberry drizzle over top of dessert.  Top with meringue "hat."

Makes 12 desserts.

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