cross between a sorbet and ice cream, intense on the fruity flavor but feels ever so light melting in your mouth, it's reason enough to get a candy thermometer and learn how to make Italian meringue for an ethereal dessert. possibly for a more advanced cook comfortable with beating egg whites to its fullest volume and working with hot sugar syrup at the soft-ball stage.
1. prepping dish(es): 1. cut a sheet of waxed paper that is long enough to fit
around a 1-quart soufflé dish and fold it in thirds, lengthwise, to make
a ribbon about 4 inches wide. 2. wrap around the top of the dish to
make a collar and tape the ends together. the collar should extend
about 3 inches above the rim of the soufflé dish. 3. secure in place with
a rubber band or tape and place the dish in the freezer to chill.
alternatively, prepare 8 (one-half cup) ramekins in a similar fashion,
making sure the collars extend about 1 1/2 inches over the rim of the
2. preparing the berries: 1. in a large saucepan, cook the blackberries and
one-third cup sugar over medium heat until the berries soften and
collapse, about 10 minutes. 2. puree the blackberries in a food mill,
blender or food processor (strain the seeds if using a blender or
processor); you should have about 2 cups. 3. stir in the blackberry
liqueur and chill.
3. preparing sugar syrup: heat remaining two-thirds cup sugar and the water in a
small saucepan over medium heat to a temperature of 235-240ºF,
soft-ball stage, about 15 minutes. stir the mixture until the sugar
dissolves, then stop stirring but keep handy a brush moistened with
water to wash down the sides of the pan should any sugar crystals form.
4. preparing the meringue: 1. while the sugar mixture is cooking, beat the egg
whites in an electric mixer to stiff peaks using the whisk attachment.
2. with the mixer running, pour the sugar mixture into the egg whites down
the side of the bowl in a slow, steady stream (avoid hitting the whisk
with the sugar or it will spray over the bowl). When the hot sugar
syrup first hits the whites, they will swell tremendously. 3. continue
beating until the whites have cooled to room temperature, about 8
5. in a large bowl, beat the whipping cream to soft peaks with a whisk or hand mixer.
6. stir about one-third of the egg white mixture into the
blackberry puree to lighten it. then pour the blackberry mixture over
the remaining egg whites and fold gently until well combined. these
cooked egg whites are more stable than uncooked, but you still need to
be careful not to deflate them.
7. gently fold the whipping cream into the egg white
mixture and spoon the mixture into the prepared soufflé dish or
ramekins. it should come at least halfway up the paper collar. smooth
the top and freeze until very firm, at least 4 hours. if you freeze it
overnight, transfer it to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to
soften before serving. if you make it more than 1 day in advance, once
the mixture is frozen solid, cover it with plastic wrap and gently
press the wrap against the surface of the soufflé.
8. when ready to serve, carefully remove the collar and serve the ramekins or cut the large soufflé into thin slices.
Note: If the sugar crystallizes while cooking in step
3, try the step again in a clean saucepan and add one-fourth teaspoon
corn syrup before cooking the sugar, but proceed with the rest of the
step as written.