Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cherry Berries on a Cloud

This recipe is in my Betty Crocker cookbook but I also found it on For years I've thought about making it and I finally had all the right ingredients at the same time, so I made it for Father's Day. This is a light and fluffy dessert but the cream cheese does make it rich. You also need to plan ahead to make this since the meringue needs to sit in the oven overnight.

Regarding meringue, here are a few tips to help you if you are new to making it:
  • Meringue works best on a cool, dry day. For some parts of the country, that is a problem. Just accept that if you have a lot of humidity you will probably see your meringue "sweat." This is when the meringue absorbs moisture from the air and becomes sticky. It may develop beads of sugar syrup on the top. Not really a big deal for this recipe since you will cover it up with the filling.
  • Separate your eggs very carefully. Even just a speck of yolk will keep the egg whites from fluffing up.
  • For best results, let your egg whites come to room temperature before beating.
  • Add the sugar slowly (about 1 Tbsp. at a time), so the crystals are absorbed and your meringue will be smooth and not grainy.
  • After adding the sugar, keep beating the egg whites until stiff and glossy peaks form when you lift the beater(s):
I also recommend using a stand mixer if you have one, because this takes some time and it will free you to do other things while you wait for the meringue to fluff.

adapted from

6 large egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 pkgs. (3 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups miniature marshmallows

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
2 tsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan with shortening or butter (cooking spray won't be enough).

Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a large bowl with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time; keep beating until egg whites are stiff and glossy. Do not under-beat. Spread into greased baking pan.

Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven, leaving meringue in the oven with the door closed overnight or for at least 12 hours.

Beat whipping cream in chilled large bowl on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in another bowl until blended. Gently fold cream cheese mixture and marshmallows into whipped cream. Spread over meringue. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Cut into serving pieces; top with topping.

For topping, combine strawberries, pie filling, and lemon juice.

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