Weekly recipes for January 2, 2013
Raspberry Meringue Pudding
Important: The meringues must be made at least two hours and up to two weeks in advance. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. The pudding needs to chill for at least four hours; it improves in texture after an overnight rest in the refrigerator.
For the meringues
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4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the pudding
Unsalted butter, for greasing the dish
2 cups nonfat milk
2/3 cup superfine sugar
4 large egg yolks, plus 1 whole egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
11/4 cups plain fresh bread crumbs
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 pint raspberries
Superfine sugar, for sprinkling
For the meringues: Place racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Beat egg whites on high speed in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Once the egg whites are foamy, add cream of tartar and beat until whites hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes. Add sugar a little at a time, beating until meringue is shiny and holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract.
Create six equal-size mounds of meringue on each baking sheet. You can swirl the tops with a spoon or pipe the meringue through a bag fitted with a large star tip.
Transfer baking sheets to oven, reduce the heat to 275 degrees and bake for 60 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through. The meringues are done when they are pale and fairly crisp and sound hollow when gently tapped on the bottom.
Turn off the oven, open the door a crack and leave the meringues in the oven for at least another hour to dry.
For the pudding: Boil a kettle of water. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease a large casserole dish with butter.
Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and slowly bring it to a boil over medium heat.
Combine sugar, 4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg in a medium bowl, whisking until mixture is light and creamy. Temper egg-sugar mixture by adding a little bit of the hot milk while whisking constantly, to keep eggs from scrambling. Gradually whisk that egg-sugar mixture into hot milk. Strain hot milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding any solids. Stir in the vanilla extract, fresh bread crumbs and lemon zest, and combine well.
Pour the pudding mixture into the casserole dish, place in a roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Fill roasting pan with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Keep checking until pudding is almost set, yet still slightly wobbly in the center. Remove dish from water bath and place it on a wire rack to cool. Cover the cooled custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
For assembly: Melt jam in a small saucepan over low heat. (Alternatively, place jam in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium for 30 seconds. Stop and stir well. If necessary, continue to microwave the jam on medium at 10-second intervals until it has reached a fluid consistency.)
Just before serving, place scoops of the pudding on six individual serving plates. (You can use a ring mold or biscuit cutter for a cleaner round shape.) Top with melted jam, the 6 most presentable-looking meringues and fresh raspberries. Sprinkle the superfine sugar over each portion.
* Adapted from Abbey Cooks Entertain, by Pamela Foster (Pamela Powered, 2012)