Friday, December 3, 2010

Passion Fruit Champagne Meringue




     This is a very simplified presentation of a very nice recipe that is sold on the Las Vegas Strip.  The ingredients are the same in both recipes, but this version has a far less complicated home style presentation.
     A piped meringue basket is used to make the complex presentation the a restaurant on the Strip sells.  Passion fruit puree and creme anglaise fill the petite crowned basket.  The basket style container for the creme anglaise and passion fruit is not easy to explain, much less make.
     The flavors of this dessert are so nice, that I just wanted to make an easy home style version, so the flavor combination could be experienced.  You do not have to be an experienced executive pastry chef to make this style of passion fruit creme anglaise meringue.

     Passion Fruit:
     Press 1/4 cup of passion fruit through a fine mesh strainer into a small sauce pot.
     Add 2 ounces of dry champagne.
     Place the pot over low heat.
     Simmer and reduce the champagne and passion fruit puree, till it becomes a thin glace consistency.
     Set the thin glace aside.

     Creme Anglaise:
     This recipe makes a thick pudding style creme anglaise!
     Heat 1/2 cup of cream in a sauce pot over medium low heat, but do not let the cream come to a boil.
     Add 1 small pinch of orange zest.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
     Add 1 small pinch of nutmeg.
     Add 1 tablespoon of sugar.
     Separate two eggs.
     Place the two egg yolks in a mixing bowl.
     Save the egg whites for the meringue.
     Add 2 tablespoons of cream to the egg yolks in the mixing bowl, while stirring.
     Slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the cold egg yoke and cream mixture while stirring constantly with a whisk.
     Return the cream and egg yoke mixture to the sauce pot.
     Place the sauce pot over low heat.
     Constantly stir with a whisk, till the cream anglaise becomes thickened from the egg yolks as it heats.
     Remove the pot from the heat.

     French Meringue:
     Place the 2 reserved egg whites in a mixer bowl.
     Add 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar.
     Whisk the eggs till soft peaks start to form.
     Add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar.
     Add 2 drops of pure vanilla extract.
     Whisk till medium stiff peaks appear.
   
     Passion Fruit Champagne Meringue:
     Pour the creme anglaise through a fine mesh strainer into a souffle mold.
     Chill the creme anglaise, till it becomes a thick firm consistency.
     Pour the reduced passion fruit champagne mixture on top of the chilled creme anglaise.
     Spoon the meringue over the passion fruit and creme anglaise in the souffle dish.
     Use the tip of a spoon to raise decorative peaks of meringue.
     Place the souffle dish in a bain marie with about 1" to 2" of water.
     Bake in a 350ยบ oven, till the meringue is cooked firm with light brown highlights.
     Chill Passion Fruit Champagne Meringue completely and then serve.

     There are far better presentations of this nice dessert, but this home style version is always a welcome sight at a table.  The important thing was to create a simple easy way for this flavor combination to be experienced.
     The best preparation I have seen of this recipe is served at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at the Paris Casino in Las Vegas.
     The tropical flavor of the champagne and passion fruit is so very satisfying!  The flavor is very sexy!  This dessert is not overly sweet when made correctly.  The passion fruit should be the featured flavor.  Yum!  ...  Shawna

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