For this week's Barefoot Bloggers post, BMK of Reservations Not Required picked this great recipe for meringues topped with stewed berries. I made this a few weeks ago when Phillip's cousin Jeremy and his wife Melanie came over to our house to go out to dinner. The meringues came out really nice, but they were not very easy to eat. The meringue part was crispy, while the berries and whipped cream were nice and soft. According to Jeremy, "this thing is pretty good once you tear into it with a steak knife!" I will definitely use this meringue recipe again, but I might make them more bite-sized next time. Also, I omitted both liqueurs (orange and raspberry), I couldn't see buying a whole bottle of each just for this one recipe. I'm sure that they made the recipe better, so if you have some lying around, by all means put it in!
6 extra - large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whipped Cream with Orange Liqueur, recipe follows
Stewed berries, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small glass and a pencil, draw 6 (3 1/2-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn the paper face-down on the baking sheets.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a large pinch of salt on medium speed until frothy. Add 1 cup of the sugar and raise the speed to high until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla. Carefully fold the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into the meringue. With a large star - shaped pastry tip, pipe a disc of meringue inside each circle. Pipe another layer around the edge to form the sides of the shells.
Bake for 2 hours, or until the meringues are dry and crisp but not browned. Turn off the heat and allow the meringues to sit in the oven for 4 hours or overnight.
Spread some of the sauce from the stewed berries on each plate. Place a meringue on top and fill with whipped cream. Top with berries and serve.
Whipped Cream with Orange Liqueur:
2 cups (1 pint) cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (I omitted this)
Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar, vanilla and orange liqueur and continue to whip until the cream forms stiff peaks. Don't overbeat, or you'll end up with butter!
Yield: 4 cups
1 half-pint fresh blueberries
3 half-pints fresh raspberries, divided
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
2 teaspoons framboise (raspberry brandy) (I omitted this)
Combine the blueberries, one-half pint of raspberries, 1/3 cup water, the sugar and zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. The juice will become a syrup and the berries will be slightly cooked. Off the heat, stir in the remaining raspberries and the framboise. Set aside.
Yield: 8 servings
Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot in Paris, Page 176