A nice summertime dessert is strawberries and ice cream together.
A fancy summertime dessert makes an edible bowl for this combination.
A weird summertime dessert uses saltine crackers as an ingredient.
Guess which one we’re making!
12 PREMIUM Saltine Crackers, coarsely rolled (about 1/2 cup crumbs)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (1 pound) frozen whole strawberries in syrup, thawed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Combine cracker crumbs and pecans; set aside. Add baking powder to egg whites. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating until stiff and glossy. Fold in cracker mixture. Spoon, in 8 portions, on brown paper covered cookie sheets. Bake in a preheated slow oven (300°F.) about 30 minutes or until done. Remove to rack to cool. Drain berries, reserving syrup. Add enough water to make 1 1/4 cups; heat to bubbling. Stir cornstarch into lemon juice. Blend into hot syrup. Cook, stirring constantly, until clear and thickened. Cool; add strawberries. Using a melon scoop, make ice cream balls and arrange on meringues. Pour sauce over ice cream. Makes 8 (about 4-inch) meringues and 2 cups sauce.
I can’t recall ever hearing the word “meringue” and thinking “crunchy bits of nuts and crackers.” That’s rather the opposite of fluffy, light sweetness, isn’t it?
Oh well. Let’s whip up some nice stiff peaks.
And then… fold in some crunchy bits. (Whaaaaat…)
OH WELL. I blopped the now-crunchy egg whites onto a baking sheet, making sure to sort form them into sort of bowls.
Thankfully, they baked quite normally, although could have benefited from a few more minutes in the oven.
While the meringues were in the oven, we started on the fruit. The first thing to do is make a cornstarch slurry, a strategic step that makes it much easier to blend the cornstarch into the eventual sauce.
It’s easy to tell when a cornstarch sauce is sufficiently thickened: coat the back of a spoon, run your finger across the sauce (carefully since it’s, y’know, hot), and if the line stays visible, it’s done.
And then just pile everything together in one silly, fancy pile!
We all enjoyed this very much. The saltine crackers weren’t evident at all (presumably dissolved into the egg whites), but the pecans were noticeable and a nice addition to the sweet meringue. With the ice cream and strawberry sauce on top, it sort of all dissolved into a delicious creamy mush. (It probably helped that the meringue was ever so slightly undercooked, and broke apart easily.) This isn’t actually all that hard to make, it’s pretty, and it’s unique.
Just don’t mention the crackers to your guests.
Crazy saltine recipe from 1971 Nabisco cookbook was originally shared online by Charm and Poise on Flickr.