I love ice cream. I pull mint from the ditch at the side of my house and turn it into the most spectacular frozen cream. I bought a jar of nougat cream in Barcelona and added it to a batch of ice cream with broken pieces of meringue – it was stunning!
When I’m in the mood for chocolate, nothing satisfies it better than a triple chocolate mouthful of melting cream and when the fresh fruit lines the tables at the farmers markets I blend them together for a furious, frozen fruit explosion.
I’ve made memorable ice creams out of ginger, there was the amazing Campari and blood orange creamy dessert and the giant salted caramel peach ice cream cake. They’re all so memorable, delicious and inspiration to keep going on my ice cream journey.
All of my ice cream attempts don’t always work as well as I hope. I wondered why anyone would have recommended bacon and egg ice cream and the blue cheese and graham ice cream will go down in the recipe books as the worst thing I put in my mouth that year.
Since I’m a fan of custard based ice creams (they’re ultimately more creamy with a luxurious texture), each and every time I craft a new ice cream and place it lovingly in the freezer, I turn around and on the counter sits 4 egg whites. Once upon a time I would save them for a breakfast egg white omelets but soon tired of that. Now while my ice cream is freezing, I’m baking meringues.
Making meringues is a really easy process. Simply whip up the whites with a pinch of cream of tartar and a cup of sugar. When whip them long enough (approximately 8 minutes) so they not only double and triple in size but they become glossy and stiff. The Raspberry Meringue Pudding (page 280, The Ontario Table cookbook) recipe (shown above) is a soft meringue, like the king you find on top of a lemon meringue pie.
I’m in love with crunchy meringues. For this cheap generic xanax, simply spoon dollops of whipped egg white onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and cook them long and slow (2 hours at 200F). It’s best to cook meringues in the evening so you can turn off the oven and go to bed, leaving the meringues in the oven overnight. The next morning remove the meringue from the oven.
They should be perfect meringue without a chewy centre. If you like a chewy centre, you can remove them from the oven after their cooked. Either way, once cooled, store them in an air-tight container for storage. Beware – if it’s a humid day, they may become gummy and develop tiny blisters if you don’t store them right away.
So what to do with meringues? A friend of mine adds chocolate chips and serves them up as delicious cookies. Sometimes instead of cookies I make small boats from the meringue. Once they’re baked they make amazing containers to fill with whipped cream and fruit – yum! But lately, I’ve been crumbling the meringue cookies and folding them into my whipped cream. I use this for topping fresh fruit in season – it’s fabulous! Don’t let the summer go by without trying this. Oh yea, if you have any ice cream leftover, put a scoop in the centre of this great dessert!
Iced Raspberries on Broken Meringue
2 cups raspberries
1 teaspoon icing sugar
2 teaspoons ice syrup
1 cup whipping cream
8 meringue cookies
sprigs of fresh mint
Rinse and let the raspberries dry. Put raspberries into a bowl and add sugar and ice syrup and leave to macerate while you whip the cream.
Whip the cream in a large bowl until thick but still soft. Roughly crumble in the meringue cookies. You will need chunks for texture as well as a little fine dust. Divide the crumbled meringue among 4 glass dessert glasses. Layer the whipped cream and macerated raspberries twice, ending with a dollop of whipped cream on top . Garnish with sprig of mint.