Strawberry Baked Alaska Pie

Remember baked Alaska? A fancy frozen dessert from the 70’s? Made out of a round layer of yellow cake topped with a mound of ice cream and then covered with a thick layer of meringue which was briefly baked in the oven to brown the meringue lightly. Well, this is 2018 and we have improved that to the Baked Alaska Pie! I posted a recipe for it in April using a gingersnap crust.  My family was crazy for it.

This time I am using a pre-made graham crust, strawberry ice cream and the traditional meringue topping. It’s a better balance of flavors than the old baked Alaska because the pie crust is ¼ the thickness of the layer of cake in a standard baked Alaska so it is just a touch of crust. The strawberry ice cream pairs with that more traditional graham cracker crust exceptionally well. My guy was pretty impressed with the look of it when I pulled it out of the freezer to serve dessert. I am betting chocolate ice cream would be crazy good too! Next version…

This is remarkably easy to do but you must have patience as there are several steps and a lot of chilling in the freezer. You will be rewarded with an impressive looking dessert although it can get kinda sloppy when you serve it especially if you didn’t chill it again after the meringue browning step. Which I kinda did when I made this pie; it was late and we couldn’t wait; only chilled it 10-13 minutes…..still delish!

Baked Alaska Pie, Strawberry version – serves 6-8

Ingredients

Pre-made gf graham cracker crust

Most of a standard big carton of strawberry ice cream

5 egg whites, room temp.

½ tsp. cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1/3-1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

Let the ice cream warm a few minutes so it isn’t rock hard and is easily scooped.  Fill the pie crust with the ice cream; spread it to cover evenly and mound it slightly.  Put in freezer for 2 to 3 hours.

Make the meringue: put the room temp egg whites in a mixing bowl, add the salt and the cream of tartar. Beat until it is in soft peaks. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time while it beats to the stiff peak stage. It should be glossy and hold a stiff peak of curled meringue. Get the pie out of the freezer and quickly mound the meringue over the pie making absolute sure you cover every bit of ice cream with lots of meringue which will act as insulation.  Chill for 2-4 hours in freezer. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slide the frozen pie in for 6-8 minutes until lightly browned, return to freezer for 30-60 minutes. You can serve it immediately but it will be a bit squishy; best to chill it again. Cut into wedges with a sharp knife and dig in. Enjoy!

strawberry pie slice

A bit squishy as I only chilled for 10 minutes after browning; couldn’t wait to enjoy it!

 

strawberry pie cut

Messy but totally nummy good!

Baked Alaska Pie: Amazing

Everyone loves ice cream.  In my family, everyone loves a pie. So I was looking for something different when I saw a recipe somewhere, can’t remember where but it fit my search requirements plus it was gorgeous but somehow I lost the recipe so I did my best to replicate it for my family. We had it over the Easter weekend. It was a big hit.  Remember baked Alaska? A dessert of the 70’s? It is a fancy construction of a layer of yellow cake topped with a mound of ice cream and then covered with a thick layer of meringue which is briefly baked in the oven to brown the meringue lightly. Well, introducing the Baked Alaska Pie!  Gingersnap crust, coffee ice cream and the traditional meringue topping. Not as heavy because the pie crust is ¼ the thickness of the layer of cake in a standard baked Alaska and gingersnap is a pow of a flavor compared to the blandness of yellow cake. The coffee ice cream pairs with it exceptionally well but I am betting chocolate ice cream would be crazy good too! I suppose you could do a graham cracker crust but what would be the fun in that? The meringue is not overly sweet and is fluffy perfection with the ice cream and cookie crust.

This dessert is remarkably easy to do but you must have patience as there are several steps and a lot of chilling in the freezer.  If you are not needing to be gf you can use a regular gingersnap crust.

 

Baked Alaska Pie

Ingredients

7/8 of a box of gluten free gingersnaps

1/3 cup melted butter

Most of a carton of coffee ice cream

5 egg whites

½ tsp. cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1/3-1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions: Use your food processor, blender or a baggie and a rolling pin to reduce the cookies to a fine crumble. Pour them in a mixing bowl, add the butter, stir well and pour into a 9 inch pie tin. Press across the bottom and up the sides. Bake at 350 for 6-9 minutes; take out before it browns much. Let cool completely before next step.

Let the ice cream warm a few minutes so it isn’t rock hard and is easily scooped.  Fill the pie crust with the ice cream; spread it to cover evenly and mound it slightly.  Put in freezer for 2 to 3 hours.

Make the meringue: put the room temp egg whites in a mixing bowl, add the salt and the cream of tartar. Beat until it is in soft peaks. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time while it beats to the stiff peak stage. It should be glossy and hold a stiff peak of curled meringue. Get the pie out of the freezer and quickly mound the meringue over the pie making absolute sure you cover every bit of ice cream with lots of meringue which will act as insulation.  Chill for 2-4 hours in freezer. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slide the frozen pie in for 4-8 minutes until lightly browned, if possible return to freezer for 30-60 minutes. Cut into wedges with a sharp knife and dig in. Enjoy

alaska pie 2

Not a very pretty picture; just doesn’t convey the incredible flavor. I took this of a leftover slice out of my freezer; we were too busy eating it to take pictures that day! So it lost some of the browned topping in my freezer. It was very pretty when we first cut the pie.

Cranberry Crackle Spring Pie

I had a bag of frozen cranberries in the freezer. There aren’t that many choices for a fresh fruit pie right now in this chilly weather.  But, I got the perfect recipe for an early spring pie. Easy to make, not too rich or too filling and very tasty. I found this recipe on line, several years ago, at splendidtable.com.  I loved the look and once I tasted it; definitely love at first bite.  Like a fruit tart and a pavlova had a baby: this is the delightful result.  Light and delicate in nature; making it perfect after a hearty Easter feast.  It is really guilt free if you eat it plain.  I devoured it in the past with vanilla ice cream, Greek yogurt or plain organic yogurt dolloped on top. Love it all those ways. Maybe next time I will be serving it like you do a Pavlova, with lightly sweetened real whipped cream on top. Yumm!

It is super easy to throw together.  If you are gf you can use the cookie crust recipe I provide, I adapted the splendid table recipe to make it gluten tree using Annalise Roberts’great cookie crust. At holidays,like Thanksgiving and Christmas, Wegmans often has gf ready-made crusts. So does Frey’s Better Foods in Hellertown. If you are a wheat eater use whatever cookie tart crust you like.  I added the cinnamon to my crust and found it added to the complexity of the flavors.  The crust absolutely needs to be prebaked and cooled before you put the tart together.

I made it in a glass pie tin but often use a ten inch ceramic tart pan.  Both work great; so it is a tart or a pie depending on the vessel you bake it in!. This tart is fantastic tasting even if you aren’t a huge cranberry fan.

The recipe calls for a few  tablespoons of raspberry jam but you could probably use most any jam, strawberry comes to mind as a great second choice.  Just chose one full of real fruit in a flavor you like as you can definitely taste the jammy flavor mixed in with the crust and the meringue topping. I love it with homemade raspberry jam, bursting with incredible raspberry flavor.

Cranberry Crackle Pie

Sweet Cookie Crust

Place the following in a stand mixer bowl and combine

1 cup GF flour (recipe below)

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp xanthan gum

½ tsp. cinnamon

Add 5 tbsp cold butter, cut into 6-7 chunks.  Mix on low until the butter is just crumbs blended in.

Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 tbsp water.  Blend well.

Pour the crumbs into a ten inch tart pan that was sprayed with cooking spray.  Or a glass pie pan which is how I made it this past weekend.  Spread it up the sides.  Press gently in so it is a cohesive crust but do not press really hard or it will be like concrete when you finish baking it!

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-19 minutes. Set the crust on a rack to cool to room temperature.  Do not let it get more than light brown. You could do this step the night before.

Filling

2-3 tablespoons chunky cherry, raspberry or strawberry jam

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

Pinch of fine sea salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups cranberries (if they’re frozen, don’t thaw)

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

When you’re ready to fill and bake the tart: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Cranberry prep: I rinse them and remove any squishy ones.  There are usually a few of those mixed in and they aren’t great for anyone to eat.  Let them dry. Frozen; ready to go just as they are!

Gently spoon the jam on top of the crust and spread it evenly over the bottom, I used the back of my big spoon for this operation. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt at medium speed just until they are fluffy and fairly opaque. With the mixer going, add the sugar in a slow, steady stream, then keep beating on high until the whites are shiny and form definite peaks; they will look like marshmallow.  This is a meringue. Be sure to wait until the whites are opaque and starting to get full or the sugar will not blend in properly.

Pour the cranberries into the bowl of meringue and, using a flexible spatula or spoonula fold them into the meringue. Try to distribute the fruit evenly, but don’t mix too much– you want to keep the meringue fluffy. Spoon the meringue over the jam and spread it to the edges, making it swirly if you’d like. The jam might push up around the sides of the meringue, and that’s fine.  Don’t fret if it looks like not enough filling, it will puff up in the oven to fill the pie pan.

Bake the tart for 1 hour, at which point the top will be light beige and cracked here and there. (If you’d like more color, you can bake it a bit longer or even put it under the broiler.)  I never go there!  Transfer the tart to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.  I did cut it while slightly warm and my slice was just perfection.  If you’d like, and I do, dust the tart with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Ice cream, whipped cream or even organic plain yogurt on the side are a great complement to the berry flavors.
cranberry-crackle-tart-cut

Storing: The tart is best the first two days after it’s made, although it’s still pretty nice the third day. Leave the tart at room temperature, covering with plastic wrap.  I doubt you will have any after the second day anyway. It is that tasty. Enjoy!

Brown Rice Flour Mix  (Same as King Arthur’s basic GF Blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally posted in 2014 on this blog. Minor text changes.

 

Cranberry Crackle Pie

If you bought an extra bag of cranberries I got the perfect recipe for dessert. Easy, not too rich or filling and very tasty. I found this recipe on line, several years ago, at splendidtable.com.  I loved the look and once I tasted it; love at first bite.  Like a fruit tart and a pavlova had a baby: this is the felicitous result.  Light and delicate making it perfect after a hearty feast.  It is really guilt free if you eat it minus any toppings.  I devoured it with vanilla ice cream on top at a Christmas luncheon. Maybe next time I will be serving it like you do a Pavlova, with lightly sweetened real whipped cream on top. Yumm!

It is really easy to throw together.  If you are gf you can use the cookie crust recipe I provide, I adapted the splendid table recipe to make it gluten tree using Annalise Roberts’great cookie crust. At holidays,like Thanksgiving and Christmas, Wegmans often has gf ready-made crusts. So does Frey’s Better Foods in Hellertown. If you are a wheat eater use whatever cookie tart crust you like.  I added the cinnamon to my crust and found it added a lot to the complexity of the flavors.  The crust absolutely needs to be prebaked and cooled before you put the tart together.

I made it in a glass pie tin but often use a ten inch ceramic tart pan.  Both work great; so it is a tart or a pie depending on the vessel you bake it in!

I should say I now love to use fresh cranberries; I made a raw relish – old family recipe – for Thanksgiving and a cooked one from fresh cranberries.  A big favorite of mine are cranberry muffins; making some this weekend. Before I discovered this recipe and those muffins I never used fresh cranberries except to make relish.  Anyway, my point is; this tart is fantastic tasting even if you aren’t a huge cranberry fan.

I used some homemade raspberry jam (what I had and what the recipe called for) but you could probably use most any jam.  Just chose one full of real fruit in a flavor you like as you can definitely taste the jammy flavor mixed in with the crust and the meringue topping. I love it with raspberry jam, a favorite flavor for me.

Sweet Cookie Crust

Place the following in a stand mixer bowl and combine

1 cup GF flour (recipe below)

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp xanthan gum

½ tsp. cinnamon

Add 5 tbsp cold butter, cut into 6-7 chunks.  Mix on low until the butter is just crumbs blended in.

Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 tbsp water.  Blend well.

Pour the crumbs into a ten inch tart pan that was sprayed with cooking spray.  Or a glass pie pan which is how I made it this past weekend.  Spread it up the sides.  Press gently in so it is a cohesive crust but do not press really hard or it will be like concrete when you finish baking it!

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Set the crust on a rack to cool to room temperature.  Do not let it get more than light brown.

Filling

2 tablespoons chunky cherry, raspberry or strawberry jam

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

Pinch of fine sea salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups cranberries (if they’re frozen, don’t thaw)

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

When you’re ready to fill and bake the tart: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Cranberry prep: I rinse them and remove any squishy ones.  There are usually a few of those mixed in and they aren’t great for anyone to eat.  Let them dry.

Gently spoon the jam on top of the crust and spread it evenly over the bottom, I used the back of my big spoon for this operation. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt at medium speed just until they are fluffy and fairly opaque. With the mixer going, add the sugar in a slow, steady stream, then keep beating on high until the whites are shiny and form definite peaks; they will look like marshmallow.  This is a meringue.

Pour the cranberries into the bowl of meringue and, using a flexible spatula or spoonula fold them into the meringue. Try to distribute the fruit evenly, but don’t mix too much– you want to keep the meringue fluffy. Spoon the meringue over the jam and spread it to the edges, making it swirly if you’d like. The jam might push up around the sides of the meringue, and that’s fine.  Don’t fret if it looks like not enough filling, it will puff up in the oven to fill the pie pan.

Bake the tart for 1 hour, at which point the top will be light beige and cracked here and there. (If you’d like more color, you can bake it a bit longer or even put it under the broiler.)  I did not go there!  Transfer the tart to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.  I did cut it while slightly warm and my slice was just perfection.  If you’d like, and I do, dust the tart with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Ice cream, whipped cream or even organic plain yogurt on the side is also great.
cranberry-crackle-tart-cut

Storing: The tart is best the first two days after it’s made, although it’s still pretty nice the third day. Leave the tart at room temperature, covering only the cut part with a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap.  I doubt you will have any after the second day anyway. It is that tasty.

Brown Rice Flour Mix  (Same as King Arthur’s GF Blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

 

Forgotten Kisses Cookies

Ever on the lookout for a great tasting cookie I came across these sweet meringue treats called forgotten kisses. I found an easy recipe on foodnetwork.com.  Made them once we got past the rainy days a week or so ago.  If you can whip egg whites, you can make these beauties.  They have chocolate chips and walnuts in them but if you look at the comments you will see that folks add many different spins and flavors.  They keep really well too.  I put some in my cookie jar four days ago and they still taste as though they were just baked.

I froze some for later.  My Christmas cookie list just got longer with this beauty added on!  Thank goodness hey are simple and they keep well. I used slightly less than the sugar amount here and my version has less chocolate chips in it.  They seem pretty chocolaty to me just as I made them.  My whole house smelled like a chocolate factory while they were baking.

forgotten-kisses-and-spicy-eggplant-001

forgotten-kissesForgotten kisses

Ingredients

2 egg whites, room temp

½ tsp. cream of tarter

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¾ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

¾ to 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Directions: Heat oven to 350.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Beat egg whites until frothy with electric mixer (I used a stand mixer), add cream of tarter, keep beating until fluffy.  Then add the sugar a tbsp or two at a time. Add the vanilla when half to all of the sugar is incorporated.  Beat until shiny and stiffly peaked when you put a spoon in.  If it gets a chunky look you have overbeaten it, not a good thing.  Stand mixers are so powerful they can do just that so watch it closely; has to have stiff peaks and look shiny but don’t keep going or you will have the overbeaten which is a no no.  The opposite is bad too; if the egg whites are not beaten to a stiff peak the cookies will flatten out and not look right.  When it looks ready, fold in the nuts and chips with a spatula.  Use two spoons to put tablespoons of batter on a baking sheet 1 inch apart. Mine made about 30 (15 on a sheet) cookies.  I did use a mixture of semi sweet and dark chocolate; was incredible tasting!

Bake at 350 degrees for five minutes, turn off oven, and leave for 2 hours up to 8 total hours.  If your oven is gas you should probably reheat it after an hour back up to the 300 degrees and let them cool in the closed oven for that second hour.  Do not open the oven door for any reason before 2 hours is up.

Here is the original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/meringue-cookies-forgotten-kisses-recipe.html

Be sure to read the comments for other flavor ideas.  I know I will be trying a few of them.