Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hey! You! Get Off of my Raspberry Cloud

My initial intention was to link the teaser picture of the Raspberry Cloud, from my last Wordless Wednesday post, to Corningware411.  Alas, I have decided that since Culinary Alchemy has been sadly bereft of any entries for over a month, it was time to post something here.  In all honesty, you really don't have to use a CorningWare 10x14 Roasting pan to make this.  I made a double batch for my family's 4th of July celebration and decided that a 10x14 would be a better choice, but a 9x13 would have been a perfectly serviceable receptacle.

I am going to give the recipe in a single batch measurements, so the pictures will not really match as far quantities are concerned.  Thus a 9x9 pan will be the choice for the following amounts.

So what exactly is a Raspberry Cloud.....?

Well, it's a layered dessert consisting of a vanilla cookie crust (graham cracker is too intrusive) smothered with a pillowy soft meringue, which is then frozen.  This makes it kind of like a semifreddo, but just before serving you add a layer of fresh berries (though you can use frozen in a pinch) and surmount that with lemon juice laced whipped cream.  Which moves it from semifreddo to Awesome-freddo!  (I know, that is a total mistranslation, but I liked the way it sounded)

It is light, refreshing and delicious on a hot summer's day.  As luck would have it, here in the Pacific NW, raspberries are at their peak at the beginning of July, thus making this a natural fit for Independence Day celebrations.   Even if my blog post about it is a week late...   :)

Raspberry Cloud

1 1/2 cups (6 oz) (170g) Vanilla Wafer Crumbs (about 30 cookies)
1/4 cup (2 oz) (56g) unsalted Butter, melted
4 large Egg Whites
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) (100g) Granulated Sugar
16 oz (453g) (~ 1 1/3 pints) fresh Red Raspberries (though you can use frozen raspberries)
2 tsp Granulated Sugar
8 oz (236ml) Heavy Cream
1 TB Confectioners' Sugar
1 TB Lemon Juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Smash your cookies with a mallet or process them in the food processor (I prefer the more violent method employing a storage bag and the flat side of a meat mallet)

Place them in a bowl and add the melted butter, stirring with a fork until the crumbs are evenly coated.

Dump the mixture unceremoniously into a 9x9 baking dish or pan.

Press firmly.

Separate the eggs and save the yolks for another purpose.

Begin whisking the whites, on medium speed, until they reach soft peaks.

With the mixer still running, begin sprinkling in the 1/2 cup of Granulated Sugar a little at a time.

Continue mixing until the whites reach firm/stiff peaks.

Spoon over the cookie crust and spread it evenly.

Bake in the oven until the meringue is nice and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Allow this to cool to room temperature (don't worry if it looks super puffy or uneven when you remove it from the oven, as it cools it will sink slightly) before placing in the freezer for 2 hours.

Right before you are ready to serve, place your berries in a bowl.

Sprinkle them with 2 tsp Granulated Sugar and toss, then set them aside while you prepare the whipped cream.

In a chilled stainless steel bowl, combine Heavy Cream and Confectioners' Sugar.

Whisk until stiff, then gently fold in the lemon juice. (Do NOT add the juice before whipping, or the cream will curdle)

Remove the baking dish from the freezer and scatter the Raspberries over the Meringue.

Spread the Whipped Cream evenly over the top. (don't worry if some of the berries show through, that's part of it's charm)

Garnish with more berries and some mint if desired.

Personally, I prefer to dig in immediately, while the Vanilla Wafer Crust and Meringue still retain the chill from being in the freezer.



Javelin Warrior said...

This sounds delicious and thanks for sharing the recipe. I've never had frozen meringue before (at least not knowingly), so I'm intrigued as to the texture. But it looks delightful!

Patti T. said...

This recipe is a lot different than what I was expecting. I never heard of freezing the meringue either. It sounds wonderful!! Ummm, did my invitation to the meal this was served with get lost somewhere??