A year ago, I went on a meringue cookie-making binge. I made plain ones and chocolate chip ones and peppermint ones. The chocolate chip meringues are now the ones we make the most often.
This past holiday season I went on a meringue binge again--but this time with DESSERTS. I've been branching out to try meringue desserts I've found here and there. They have such a mixture of sweet and not-sweet and of fluff and crisp, it causes every bite to be ecstasy.
On Christmas Eve, we tried Baked Alaska again. We've tried this over the years, but it's so bulky in the freezer, and I prefer to have my cake not frozen, so I don't think we will be doing it again. It's basically cake with ice cream covered by a meringue.
Then we made Pavlova. It is the BEST. "Pavlova" is the Australian/New Zealand name for a meringue shell topped by unsweetened whipped cream with fruit on top.
After making a square one, we decided to cut it in half, so it's not very attractive. Our Fruit Designers had some strange ideas too, but does that affect the taste? No way!
The meringue shell is crisp on the outside, but soft and rather marshmellowy inside. It is sweet. The whipped cream is smooth and not sweet. The fruit is a mix of sweet and sour. What a combination!
There are so many slight differences between recipes for meringue (especially the cooking temps & times), but I've found this one to be superb, so I'm stickin' with it--with the recipe cut in half for a serving of 6 (I've heard that leftovers tend to get soggy, but we at our house wouldn't know).
If you want a short short version of this, here's what you could do: Buy a container of ready-made meringue cookies and put some in each single-serving bowl. Squirt ready-made whipping cream on top. Add cut-up fruit. Blueberries and strawberries and grapes are highly recommended, but ya do with what ya got.
YOU MUST TRY THIS AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFETIME!