Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cooking with Sea Cider Prohibition – Dessert Recipe

Recipe Pairing Flavors:
A bourbon barrel aged cider full of aromas and flavors of caramel, molasses and rum with a note of toasted oak, that’s all wrapped up in tart-sweet heirloom apples.  Mouthfilling, full-bodied and gently effervescent, Prohibition finishes dry and crisp, with a pleasingly lingering warmth.

Want the Cooking with Sea Cider
Entrée recipe?

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Side Dish recipe?

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Side Dish II recipe?

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Dessert II recipe?
We'll wrap up the series and 2014 with this December 26th post.




Egg whites.  Sugar.  And, of course, air.  That's all it takes to make edible clouds.

And just like clouds, they’re magical and mysterious and appear in any number of whimsical shapes.  As light as a breath, some crunch at first bite, while others melt away like warming snow.

Spooned onto lemon meringue pies and Baked Alaska or piped from pastry bags into fanciful mushroom or floral shapes.  Quickly baked till browned on the outside and soft on the inside or left long in a slow oven until they’re firm, crisp and dry. 

Flavored with vanilla or lemon or mixed with ground nuts, meringue puts the silky in frostings and makes cakes like clouds.  Supposedly originating in Switzerland, but most likely the "white bisket bread of beaten egg white and sugar" found in an early 17th century English cookbook, the confection was simply irresistible to Marie Antoinette, whose Italian chefs brought its sweetness to the opulent French court.

But, even magic has its science, so, if you don’t mind, here’s a peek behind the curtain, where clouds are made.

When egg whites are beaten, their proteins unfold and recombine around the air beaten into them, increasing their volume. 

And when sugar is then added, they're not only sweetened, but stabilized, for the sugar helps the proteins hold onto their greatly expanded, new shapes.

But, those shapes, they haven’t finished growing yet and are in for another growth spurt, which happens when the meringue hits the oven's heat.  For then, the eggs’ moisture, it turns to steam, which again swells up those air bubbles, but this time to as much as 8 times their original size.

However, before you can head for the oven, you’ll have to get beating, and that’s when you'll discover the three stages of meringue:

First is “foamy,” where the eggs are still liquidy, but large bubbles have formed.

Next is “soft peaks,” where the eggs are now snowy white and gently fluffy, and this is when you’ll begin to slowly whisk in your sugar.

And if you keep beating, you'll reach the full volumed "stiff peaks," with the eggs smooth, thick and glossy, and when your whisk lifts from the bowl, the peaks will completely hold their shape.

So, now it's time to put a cap of creamy clouds atop our cider themed dessert.  And of course, I’ve flavored it too with a splash of Sea Cider’s Prohibition.


Serves 8 – 10

2 cups ginger snaps (crushed)
4 tablespoons butter (melted)

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (peeled, finely chopped)

2 cups sweet potatoes (roasted, peeled, mashed)
2 tablespoons Sea Cider Prohibition
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
½ teaspoon powdered sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup heavy cream

2 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar

Set rack to mid-oven and preheat to 325°F.

Butter a 7-inch springform pan, then covered the bottom and sides with aluminum foil and set aside.
Combine the ginger snaps, powdered ginger and butter, then press into the bottom of the prepared pan and transfer to the freezer while preparing the filling.

Place the sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

In a skillet set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the brown sugar.  Stir until dissolved before adding the fresh ginger.  Allow to cook briefly until fragrant and bubbling.

Cool slightly, then add to the sweet potatoes along with the cider and nutmeg.
Mix to combine before adding the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the heavy cream and mix again.

Remove the springform pan from the freezer and transfer it to a sheet pan, before pouring the filling into the frozen shell.

Transfer the pie to the oven and bake for about 40 minutes until firm in the center.

 About 15 minutes before the pie is done, prepare the meringue by combining the egg whites and cream of tartar and beating until they reach the soft peak stage.

Continue beating and add in the cider, followed by the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Continue mixing until the meringue holds stiff and glossy peaks.

When pie finishes baking, remove it from the oven and spread the meringue over the hot pie to the crust edges.

Return the pie to the oven and increase the temperature to 350°F.
Bake an additional 15 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.

Cool on a rack before chilling completely, unmolding and serving.

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