This is a variation of the meringue dessert contributed to ShalomBoston.com by my friend Judy Shankman. Her delicious recipe, Meringue with Strawberries and Cream, is dairy of course, and I wanted to have a pareve option for my family seder. Then I saw the recipe by Joan Nathan in the March 2002 issue of Cooking Light. She fills a meringue shell with blueberries and raspberries and drizzles it all with chocolate. This sounded perfect for a seder or for a special light dessert for any occasion. It is absolutely spectacular looking and I guarantee it will be gone by the end of the meal. After eating their serving, people will start picking at the platter, unable to leave the tasty leftovers.
6 egg whites
1 1/8 cups sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups mixed blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries (if large, cut in pieces)
3/8 cup semisweet chocolate bits
2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour (with matzah meal on Passover) a 9 or 10-inch springform pan.
Whip the egg whites until stiff, up to 15 minutes (or about 5 minutes in a KitchenAid mixer). Gradually add the sugar while continuing to whip. Add the vinegar or lemon juice and the vanilla and whip until it looks like marshmallow.
Spoon egg white mixture into the pan and make the sides a little higher than the middle. Bake for 50 minutes, shut off the oven, and leave the pan in the oven overnight. In the morning, remove the pan from the oven and let it sit on the counter, uncovered, until you are ready to assemble the final product.
Remove the meringue from the pan by running a knife several times around the sides and then releasing the pan. (You can gently move the meringue to a platter by running a knife underneath it and transferring it with a spatula, or just place the meringue still attached to the bottom of the springform pan directly on the platter.)
An hour or two before serving, melt the chocolate bits and water together and stir until smooth. Make sure the berries are dry. Pour the berries into the meringue shell and then drizzle the whole thing with the melted chocolate.
Cut the meringue with a serrated knife. You will probably also need a large spoon to scoop up the berries. Makes 8-12 servings, depending on size.
Joan Nathan has a different technique for baking the meringue. She traces a circle on a piece of parchment paper taped (with masking tape) to a cookie sheet. Then she spoons the egg whites onto the parchment paper, using the circle as a guide. With a spoon, form the meringue into a nest with sides 1-inch high. Joan’s original recipe calls for 4 egg whites and 3/4 cup sugar, which she forms into a 9-inch shell, bakes in a 200-degree oven for one hour, and lets sit in the closed oven for another 30 minutes. This size shell needs 4 cups of berries, and 1/4 cup chocolate bits mixed with 4 teaspoons of water. I have used Joan’s meringue technique with the ingredient amounts above to form a 10-11-inch shell and the results were spectacular. The only problem I had was in removing the delicate meringue from the parchment paper, so I just cut around the shell and moved it and the paper underneath to the serving platter.
Meringue with Berries and Chocolate