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Fruity Summer Meringue

This dessert has the wow-factor of a Baked Alaska without all the extra work.

  • caramelizing meringue

    Image 1 of 3

    The meringue will caramelize under the broiler and the fruit will warm slightly.

  • caramelized fruity meringue

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    Chef Daniel Orr placed this fruity meringue under the broiler for several minutes to caramelize it. It turned from white to brown in seconds, so he advises you watch it like a hawk!

  • fruity caramelized meringue, finished dish

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    Strawberries, raspberries and apricots are enrobed in a caramelized meringue. The sauce is a bitter orange coulis. Yum!

Grab your mixing bowl or hand beater (or whisk, if you want some exercise) and let’s talk meringues.

To start, be sure your egg whites are completely fat-free (i.e. there should be no yolk remnants in sight). If your whites aren’t forming a foam as you whisk them, stray fat might be the culprit.

Then, let your egg whites and the bowl reach room-temperature. (You want cold cream and a cold bowl for making whipped cream, but just the opposite for making a meringue!) It will take several minutes of whisking to fully dissolve the sugar into the egg whites. You’ll know your meringue is ready to do when you lift the mixers and a stiff peak forms.

As for the fruit, I used what was in season at the time — strawberries and raspberries. Perhaps you have some melons or apples instead. Those would be just as delicious!

Fruity Summer Meringue

Ingredients

  • 8 strawberries
  • 1 1/2 apricots
  • several raspberries
  • 1 cup egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Sweet Seasons Spice Blend (or ½ teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice Powder)
  • 4 sprigs mint
  • 4 tablespoons bitter orange coulis

Cooking Directions

  1. Wash the fruit in tepid water to remove any sand that covered them. Place on towels and allow to dry at room temperature.
  2. Pre-heat broiler to high with rack near the top.
  3. In a room-temperature mixing bowl, whisk egg whites. (Egg whites should also be room-temperature.) Add sugar and continue whisking. Your meringue is ready when the sugar has completely combined and the mixture comes to a sturdy peak -- approx. 5 minutes.
  4. Treat oven-safe gratin dishes with non-stick spray. Add fruit to the dishes. Spoon meringue on top of the fruit, over the middle of the dish so the fruit is exposed on the exterior.
  5. Place gratin dish on the lower level of the broiler. Cook until the meringue caramelizes and turn brown. This will happen quickly -- 3-4 minutes.
  6. Garnish with bitter orange coulis and fresh mint, and serve with candied orange slices.

Chef Daniel Orr

Chef Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington and the author of several cookbooks. He draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training.

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