Creme fraiche has a tangy flavor and a rich, smooth texture that plays wonderfully against blueberries. The slight sourness of the cream complements the sweet meringues.
This dessert looks nice if the blueberries spill over the meringues.
In the humid Washington area, Elinor Klivans says, she would store the meringues by sealing them in a tin for up to 2 days. They also can be carefully wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months; a rigid container will help avoid breakage.
- For the meringues
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- For the topping
- 3 cups blueberries
- 8 ounces crème fraîche
For the meringues: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Butter the paper lightly and dust with confectioners' sugar.
In a clean large bowl (not plastic), using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed for several minutes until the whites are frothy. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for several minutes, until soft peaks form. On medium speed, slowly beat in the sugar. Add the grated lemon zest and almond extract, mixing just to blend them.
Using about 1/2 cup of meringue for each and spacing them 3 inches apart, place six mounds of meringue on the prepared baking sheet. Use the spoon to spread each meringue into a 4-inch circle and press an indentation in each to form a shallow nest. Bake about 40 minutes, until the meringues are slightly colored and feel firm and dry on top. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven to dry for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool.
To serve, place the meringues on individual plates, fill generously with blueberries and spoon creme fraiche over the blueberries.
From pastry chef and cookbook author Elinor Klivans.
Tested by Jackie Alvarado.
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