5 Egg whites
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 package Ritz Crackers
1 cup Pecans
roughly chopped
4 oz Cream Cheese
(room temp)
1/4 c Powder Sugar
1/4 c Crème Fraiche
1 c Heavy Cream
1 lb Fruit
sliced (strawberries, mangoes, peaches)
For the Meringue Base
Preheat oven at 325 F.
Flip the bottom of the springform pan and re-insert. The lip should face down, making it easier to remove after baking. Grease the sides and bottom of the springform pan. If using cupcake tins, grease them well.
Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When they start to form soft peaks, add cream of tartar and baking powder. With the mixer on low gradually add in the sugar. When all the sugar has been incorporated, add the vanilla extract and whip until stiff peaks.
Break up the crackers by hand in quarters (roughly), do not pulverize them (you want some big pieces). Gently fold the chopped pecans and crackers into the egg white mixture. Do not over mix, or you will deflate the egg whites.
Carefully pour the meringue mixture into springform pan or cupcake molds. Don’t try to smooth it over, just level it a bit. The less you handle it the better.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes (or 18 minutes for cupcake size), rotating halfway through.
When it is out of the oven, place on a wire rack and run a paring knife around to detach the ring of the cake. Carefully detach the ring and let the cake cool down still on the base. If using cupcake molds, use a paring knife to detach from the sides and an offset to remove them from the molds, place on a cooking rack. The cake is very delicate so handle it carefully and let cool completely.
For the Cream Topping
In a stand mixer beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until very soft. Add the crème fraiche and beat just until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft-medium peaks and fold it into the cream cheese mixture.
To Serve
Top the cooled meringue cake with the cream and a good amount of sliced fruit (strawberries, mangoes, berries, peaches).
Baking times (approx.):
9-inch spring form mold: about 35 minutes
Cupcake molds: about 18 minutes