Showing posts with label make ahead dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label make ahead dessert. Show all posts

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day from all of us at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen!

This video seemed very appropriate today because it celebrates all of our troops. I love that unsung heroes in the audience are included.




Thank you all for your service. 
Godspeed to those on active duty.


Lately the bloggers at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen have been talking about what we can do to jazz things up around here. We're working on a slightly new look, but we've also been talking about content.

Perhaps today, in between trips to the grill, you would be kind enough to tell us a little bit about what you would like to see here!

Please feel free to expand on your answer in the comment section. We're eager to hear from you!


I would like to see more

 But fear not! I wouldn't leave you without a recipe!

Today is the official start of summer. You know what that means, don't you? They're coming!

By train, by plane, by car. Your friends and relatives are on the way.

If you've read any of my books, you know that Sophie keeps a stash of goodies in the freezer. This recipe is one of my favorites. It does require fresh fruit and heavy cream. I've found, though, that cream stays fresh a surprisingly long time in the fridge. It's May now, and the cream that I just bought doesn't expire until July. We'll use it before then, I'm sure. And in the summer time, I always have fresh berries or peaches on hand. In a pinch, you can even thaw frozen fruit to use.

It makes a pretty presentation and even if your company grabbed dinner on the road, it's quick to prepare and light enough for a late night snack.


Bake the meringue disks when you have a few spare minutes. Let them sit in the oven over night to dry out, then stash them in a freezer bag. When you need them, pull them out, and assemble a heavenly, light summer dessert that will impress your visitors.


Meringue

3 large egg whites at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl and beat. When the eggs begin to take shape, slowly add the sugar and beat until they hold stiff peaks.

Spoon the egg white mixture onto the parchment paper and spread into circles with the back of your spoon. Freehand it and don't worry about making them perfect.

Bake the disks for one hour or until dry and crisp, but not blond. I get the best results by turning the oven off after one hour and leaving them in the closed oven over night.

Store in a freezer bag in the freezer until ready to use.

ASSEMBLY

meringue disks
whipped cream (or ice cream)
fresh strawberries
1-2 tablespoons sugar


Wash, hull, and slice the strawberries. Sprinkle with sugar and allow to sit, turning once or twice.

Remove two meringue disks per serving from the freezer bag. Top half of them with a layer of whipped cream (or a slice of softened ice cream). Lay sliced strawberries on the cream. Top with another meringue disk. Plop a dollop of cream on top and garnish with remaining strawberries.



Saturday, October 10, 2009

Elegant Dessert in Minutes


One of my favorite desserts is based on meringue. It's fun, delicious, and, as my mother would say, good enough for company. The very best thing about it is that you can have it ready at a minute's notice. When relatives visited once, I was busy showing and driving them around, which left little time for cooking. Meringue nests saved the day. I pulled them out of the freezer and had a fabulous dessert in minutes. Of course, you do have to bake the meringues in advance!

Anyone who has read The Diva Runs Out of Thyme knows that baking meringues isn't a rainy day activity. Meringues need to dry out, and humid weather can make them sticky. Crisp fall days are a great time to bake them and pop them in the freezer for those busy days when you need a dessert fast!


Meringue Nests

3 large egg whites at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Grease and flour a baking sheet, or (my preference) cover a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. If you are very precise, you can draw circles on the paper as guides, but I'm the world's worst artist and I do it freehand.

Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl and beat. When the eggs begin to take shape, slowly add the sugar and beat until they hold stiff peaks.

Spoon the egg white mixture into a pastry bag with a tip that has a fairly large hole. Don't have a pastry bag? Snip the corner of a plastic food storage bag and use it instead. Pipe the mixture onto the paper. I find it easiest to begin in the middle and pipe in circles until it's approximately three inches in diameter. Then, to make the nest, I pipe one more circle around the top of the outer circle. So simple! Three eggs make approximately one dozen 3 inch-ish nests. Have just a tiny bit left? Pipe a few dots to snack on!

Bake the nests for one hour or until dry and crisp, but not blond. My preference is to turn the oven off after one hour and leave them in the closed oven overnight.

One of the best features of meringue is that it freezes so beautifully. Peel them off the parchment paper and slide the nests into freezer bags. If you want to stack them within the bag, use a bit of the parchment paper (reuse the one you used to bake them) in between layers. But don't crowd them, they're fragile. Freeze until ready to use.

ASSEMBLY

meringue nests
ice cream
whipped cream (optional)
frozen raspberries, thawed

Remove the requisite number of meringue nests from the freezer bag. Top each with a scoop of ice cream. (Go with your personal preference here. It's great with vanilla, coffee, and chocolate, but I can imagine it with all kinds of ice creams.) Top with a dollop of whipped cream (optional). Spoon thawed frozen raspberries and a little juice over top (you may need to add some sugar to the thawed raspberries, they have a tendency to be a little bit tart). If you're feeling very ambitious, you can make a blueberry or cherry reduction, but our family favorite has always been raspberries.

Enjoy!