Meringue shells, also known as Schaum Tortes, were a staple of my childhood. On our farm we had a steady supply of eggs and cream so when the strawberries were in season these tortes were our go-to dessert. So simple: make a meringue shell and layer that with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream. Easy. And so delicious. I loved them so much I would sometimes just eat the shell, like a big oversized cookie.
The shell is extremely light and airy. Beaten egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar. Straight from my Betty Crocker cookbook.
It’s the same way you make the topping for a meringue pie. Only this meringue is shaped into circles (or, for Valentine’s Day, hearts) on parchment paper. A depression is made in the center before they are baked, and after the baking time they are left in the oven for at least an hour to cool slowly, away from any drafts.
The reward is a light, sweet shell that is happy to be paired with many different flavors. For this Valentine’s Day version, I was inspired by a recipe I found at Taste of Home to use raspberry sauce. I was particularly happy to be able to use frozen raspberries for the sauce, since buying 3 cups of fresh raspberries can get really pricy out of season!
The raspberry sauce is pretty simple. Thaw the berries, place in a food processor (a blender would also work) and process until blended. With a mesh strainer, strain out the seeds by pushing the puree through the mesh using a rubber spatula or the back of a large spoon. Discard the seeds and place the puree in a small saucepan with a little seedless raspberry jam and cornstarch. Once combined, bring this mixture to a boil and then cook for one minute, stirring constantly. The sauce will appear to thicken slightly at which point remove it from the heat and allow it to cool.
To serve, start with the meringue heart. Spoon a little sauce over it. Then place a small scoop of raspberry sherbet or lemon sorbet on top. If desired, a sprinkle of sliced almonds and fresh raspberries may be added as an additional garnish.
The tartness of the raspberry sauce is the perfect complement to the sweet meringue shell. And the scoop of sherbet takes it right over the top.
You can even get a little creative with the sauce.
And, of course, a version for the “no such thing as too much raspberry” crowd. 😀
Give this a try, you won’t be sorry!
Meringue Hearts with Raspberry Sauce
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries approx. 12 oz, thawed
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ½ cup raspberry jam seedless
Garnishes, as desired
- Raspberry or lemon sherbet or sorbet
- Sliced almonds
- Additional fresh raspberries
- Preheat oven to 275F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat until foamy. While beating, begin adding sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Once all sugar is added, continue beating until mixture is stiff and glossy. Do not under beat.
- Drop meringue of 1/3 to ½ cupfuls onto the parchment paper-lined sheet. Shape into hearts and build up the sides slightly.
- Bake for 55 minutes. Turn off oven and leave meringues in the oven with the door closed for at least one hour until cool. Meringues will keep for several days at room temperature.
- Place raspberries in a food processor or blender. Cover and process until well blended. Strain and discard seeds.
- In a small saucepan, combine pureed raspberries, cornstarch and jam until smooth. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for one minute or until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- To serve, spoon sauce into meringue hearts. Place a scoop of sherbet on top. Sprinkle with almonds and some fresh raspberries as desired.