“I feel pretty – Oh, so pretty – That the city should give me its key – A committee – Should be organized to honor me – la la la la.”
What? You’ve never heard singing meringue?
I have a board in my kitchen where I post culinary ideas. Sometimes they’re inspired by an ingredient. Often the spark is drawn from a photo or even just the name of a recipe. Several weeks ago, I saw a “blueberry meringue pie.” Hmmm… I never thought of a blueberry version of a favorite pie. What a great idea! My ruminations took my mind through several possibilities – a pie for two, blueberry filling with a vanilla-flavored toasted top, an entirely blue pie, a crustless version…
Then I saw a photo online of a gorgeous, bright lime green soufflé encased in toasted meringue. That was the catalyst for what turned out to be essentially a scaled down crustless blueberry meringue pie.
So, how did it turn out?
As you can see, the toasted meringue provides for an eye-popping presentation. When sliced, layers of fluffy vanilla meringue and an airy purple-blue center are revealed. And the texture and flavor? Delicate yet creamy, sweet-tooth satisfying, with flavors of tropical coconut, toasted marshmallow and wonderfully intense wild Alaska blueberry. This dessert was as satisfying as a culinary achievement as it was to demolish – which we did in a gratifyingly indulgent blink of an eye.
You, too, can whip up (pun definitely intended) this five-star dessert. For the sake of making this scrumptious dish accessible to all levels of chefs, I’m writing up the directions for a mason jar version. If you are interested in the more difficult cloud-on-a-plate version, leave me a comment or message me and I’ll send that recipe to you.
The Blueberry Cloud (serves 6)
Ingredients for Blueberry Coconut Custard Base
- 1 envelope unflavored powdered gelatin
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- pinch salt
- 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup blueberry juice*
- 1 cup coconut cream (the thick part from the top of the can)
Directions for Blueberry Coconut Custard Base
- In a double boiler, stir gelatin with 1/4 cup sugar and salt until well mixed.
- In a small bowl, using a wire whisk beat egg yolks with cold water and blueberry juice until mixed.
- Stir blueberry mixture into gelatin mixture.
- Cook over simmering water, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat.
- Pour into a large bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- Have six one-cup wide-mouth canning jars out and ready.
- In a small bowl with the mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Continue beating at high speed and gradually sprinkle in remaining 1/2 cup sugar.
- Beat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Whites should stand in stiff peaks.
- Fold the whites into the bowl with the blueberry mixture.
- In a separate small bowl with the mixer at medium speed, whip the coconut cream.
- Fold whipped cream into blueberry mixture.
- Divide into wide mouth jars.
- Chill the dessert in the refrigerator until firm, at least 3 hours.
Ingredients for Meringue Top
- 6 egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions for Meringue Top and Assembly
- Place the egg whites in a large, very clean mixing bowl.
- Beat whites on high speed.
- When whites start to thicken, slowly add in the sugar a little at a time.
- Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Spread the meringue over the entire dessert. Toast the meringue using a chef’s torch.(People say, you can toast meringue under the broiler in the oven. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, this might be an alternative way of toasting. I have never tried this.)
- Serve immediately.
*You can make blueberry juice by taking about a cup of blueberries and an ounce of water and simmering for about ten minutes. Using a potato masher, smash the berries. Place mixture in a cheesecloth-lined wire-mesh strainer and let the juice drip through. To keep the juice clear, do not squeeze the cheesecloth.