These little Meringue Baskets are such an elegant and delicious dessert. Truly, this is one of the best desserts we have had around here in awhile. I love the crackly outer party of the meringue with the chewy center; the sorbet melts together with the meringue into sensory delight! Of course, I also swoon when any dessert is adorned with raspberry sauce -- natch!
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I was perusing the blog City Home Country Home, by Bonnie, who is a fine cook and needlewoman, and saw her little meringue baskets filled with lemon, cream, and berries. Inspired by her baskets, I came up with this concoction.
I must confess, I am not the best meringue maker. The meringue for my baskets was probably not stiff enough but they still turned out, in taste and looks, just fine. They really do whip up quite quickly. However, you could also buy some meringues and use them instead of making the baskets.
Meringue Recipe and Technique for Making Baskets:
Recipe from Joy the Baker
4 egg whites from 4 large eggs
1 cup of superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla -- the good stuff
1/2 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Put egg whites in a medium-size bowl and beat until the egg whites form a soft peak. Then begin to add sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon, until fully incorporated. Beat until egg-sugar mixture forms stiff, but not dry, peaks and the egg whites look shiny. At this point you can turn your bowl upside down and the egg white mixture won't fall out. Take a bit of the mixture and rub it between your fingers. If it is quite gritty, you may need to beat some more. Then beat in the vanilla. Then add corn starch and the vinegar, just using a spatula, to fully incorporate into the egg white mixture. If you want individual baskets, place the mixture into a piping bag with a tip with a large opening. I used a 1 M tip. Then pipe mixture into 3-inch circles. You can trace circles on some parchment paper, and then flip the parchment around (to avoid getting pen on your meringues) and begin piping. Then pipe around the edge of the basket to provide a rim. As you can see, my meringue could have been more firm.
For individual 3-inch baskets, place in a 250 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes. I like the meringues to be quite light, not really brown at all. Then turn off the heat and let them sit in the oven for about another 1.5 hours until cooled off and dried. After cooling and drying the meringues should be crackly on the outside and chewy on the inside, in other words, pure heaven!
Meringue Making Memos
1. Make sure all your equipment, such as beaters and bowl are clean and grease-free.
2. Beat your egg whites until you have soft peaks and then begin to add your sugar.
3. Use superfine sugar. You can make this by putting your sugar in your food processor and processing for one minute.
3. Make sure you add your sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon, rather than adding it all at once, making sure to incorporate each tablespoon. If you add the sugar all at once, it will weigh down the egg whites.
4. When you think you are done beating your meringues, take some of the mixture and rub it between your fingers. If it is quite gritty, beat a bit more
Raspberry Sauce Recipe:
Take raspberries and puree in blender. If using the 12 ounce package of frozen raspberries, thaw first. Add some sugar to taste, from about 1/4 to 1/2 cup, and about 1 tablespoon of corn starch. Place berry puree in small saucepan and on medium heat bring to a boil. Remove from heat. If you want seedless sauce, place berries in a wire sieve and put a bowl underneath sieve. With a spoon or spatula, push puree against the sieve and continue doing so until the seeds are mainly dry. My daughter made the raspberry sauce for this and she didn't add very much sugar, and I loved the tartness of the sauce.
Place some raspberry sauce in a piping bag, or in a Ziploc bag with a small hole cut in the corner, and pipe some sauce into a fun design.
Take a meringue basket and place some whipping cream on it.
Place your meringue on the raspberry sauce.
Place small scoops of sorbet on the meringue baskets. We used lemon, mango, and cherry. Yum!
We love the Smith Grocery Store house brand. It is delicious, and is usually on sale for less than $2.00 for 16 ounces. They have lemon, mango, strawberry, raspberry, cherry, and a pomegranate. blend. Then add some more raspberry sauce. Yum! I especially love the raspberry sauce with the mango sorbet.
Posted with Foodie Friday.