I’ve always been attracted to the contrasting flavors, textures or temperatures within food – so baked Alaska, with its hot meringue surrounding a cold ice cream base, is right up my alley. This recipe is quick, easy and looks great – perfect for a summer night.
For 2 servings, you will need:
- 1 ripe peach
- 1 egg white
- Cream of Tartar – 2 shakes
- Salt – a pinch
- Sugar – 1/8 cup
- Vanilla extract – 1/4 tsp
- Vanilla ice cream – 2 large spoonfuls will do
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and freeze a cookie sheet.
Making the cookie sheet as cold as possible keeps the ice cream from melting in the oven.
2. Slice the peach in half and dig out the pit.
3. Cut a sliver off the bottom of each peach half (to prevent rolling).
Okay, now it’s time for the meringue-making. Meringue is one of my favorite desserts to make because it is temperamental and tricky. Too humid? No meringue. Removing a meringue too quickly from the oven? Bad news bears. It might take a few tries to get it right, but don’t get discouraged – when you’re successful, it’s pretty gratifying!
Some tips on meringue:
- Reduce the humidity in the room. That means no running water, boiling kettles, or open fridges. And if it’s downpouring outside? Well, considering yourself warned.
- Have a spankin’ clean bowl. Use a metal or glass bowl to make meringue (plastic hides too much grease and oil) and make sure it is spotless. The smallest smidgen of grease will ruin your meringue.
- Egg whites only, please! If you accidentally get some yolk into your meringue base, save that egg for an omelet. Only pure egg whites will form a meringue.
- When in doubt, use cream of tartar. Perhaps someone can explain the science behind this, but adding cream of tartar always makes for easier meringue making.
Got that? Let’s move on then.
4. Separate out one egg yolk into a metal or glass bowl. Add 2 dashes cream of tartar and 1 pinch salt.
5. Beat egg white on Medium speed until foamy. GRADUALLY add sugar while beating egg whites on High, until they form stiff peaks (2-3 min)
6. Add the vanilla to the eggs and GENTLY fold in with a rubber spatula.
7. Fill the de-pitted peaches with ice cream. Mmmmm.
8. Top filled peaches with meringue, making sure ice cream is completely covered.
Sorry, no pictures of this because I was rushing to get them into (and out of) the oven. What can I say, I’m a dessert girl.
9. Bake at 450 degrees for 2-3 minutes.
And you’re done! Warm peachy meringue on the outside, melty ice cream on the inside. The end result should look like that very top picture. And here’s an inside shot:
Give this recipe a try, and impress your friends in the process!