Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Strawberry Clouds

Strawberries are on sale this week for $1.29!

I came across a recipe for Strawberry Clouds in the Family Fun magazine.  It had a cute little story about how the dessert was inspired by a Russian ballerina.  I have a little ballerina of my own, so of course we could not wait to try it.  I personally struggle with following a recipe.  So, this is my own version of Strawberry Clouds, and let me tell you, it is Wonderful!
For the meringues:
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
5 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of clear vanilla

For the toppings:
2 pints of fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 carton of whipped topping, thawed

To make the meringue, preheat the oven to 275* and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Stir together sugar and cornstarch, until well combined.  In a separate bowl beat together egg whites, cream of tarter and salt until the mixture is foamy and holds soft peaks.  This will take a couple of minutes.
Increase the speed of the mixer to medium - high and add your sugar mixture a little at a time.  Allow the sugar to dissolve completely into the egg whites before adding more.  You may even need to scrape down the sides of your bowl as you work.

Continue to beat the mixture until it hold stiff peaks, then add the vanilla.  Beat until combined well.
With a pair of large spoons, spoon out nice large dollops of meringue.  Be sure to try and make each one the same size as the next. Using the back of a spoon, press a well into each meringue cloud.

Put the meringues into the oven and turn down the temperature to 250*.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  They should be crisp on the outside, but not browned.  After removing them from the oven, let the cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the meringues are cooling, combine the chopped strawberries and sugar.  Stir them together and allow them to set until the strawberries are very juicy.

Top each meringue with a dollop of whipped topping and them spoon the strawberries and juice over the whipped topping.
I recommend you only make them when you have plenty of company to help you eat them.
Otherwise, you may eat yourself silly.
Trust me on this one, friends.

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