Almond Vacherin with Bing Cherry Compote

This Bing cherry compote can be served by itself, over ice cream, or in this case as a filling for meringue shells loaded with brandy cream.

Ingredients

Vacherins

  • 6 large egg whites
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ounce sliced almonds, toasted and finely ground

Brandy Cream

  • 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brandy

A pastry bag with a ¼-inch plain round tip

Method

To make the vacherins

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Put the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. With the whisk attachment, whip them on medium speed until frothy. Increase to high speed and slowly add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Continue to whip until soft peaks form. Slowly add ½ cup granulated sugar and continue whipping until stiff.

Mix together the remaining granulated sugar, the powdered sugar, and almonds. On low speed gently fold the nut-sugar mixture into the egg whites.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and “glue” the corners of the parchment onto the sheet pan with a little of the meringue.

Put a ½-inch plain round tip in a pastry bag. Pipe the meringue in a circular motion 3 inches in diameter, starting from the inside, to make a solid coil. When you get to the outside edge of the disk, continue to pipe out circles the width of the pastry tip on top of each other until you have created a 2-inch-high wall. Form 8 vacherins in the same manner. (You will have extra meringue so you can make a few extra and perfect your technique.)

Bake the meringues until they are dry and easily peel off the parchment paper, anywhere from several hours to overnight. Let them cool and serve them with the Bing cherry compote and brandy cream.

To make the brandy cream

Put the cream with the sugar and brandy in a large stainless steel bowl. Whisk the cream until it holds its shape. Refrigerate the cream until ready to assemble the vacherins.

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