In the summer, one rarely wants to cook. Other than barbequing, most folks would prefer to eat out. There are those special occasions when company’s coming and you just have to make a special dessert. From our kitchens to yours, we present Summer Torte. This is a very flexible recipe with plenty of variations.
To make this delicious dish, there are several steps to take. First is making a meringue shell. A meringue’s crispness depends on how much sugar was in the mix in proportion to the egg whites. A little and you end up with the kind of meringue on Lemon Meringue Pie. A lot and you end up with a light, crisp airy dessert ready for cakes or filling.
A delightful summer treat, this recipe is best made when you can be out on the deck for some time. It requires low temperature baking so you don’t have to heat up the kitchen too much.
- whites of 3 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 Cup of sugar
- Meringue Shell
- 3/4 Cup of sugar
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 Cup water
- 3 large egg yolks, beaten lightly
- 1 Tablespoon sweet butter or stick butter
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1/3 Cup lemon juice
- Berry mixture
- Whipped Cream
- 1 1/2 Cups of firm ripe berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, pitted cherries, brambles, or other berries)
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon Kirschwasser
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Confectioner's or superfine sugar
- 1 Cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
- On one side of a piece of parchment paper, draw a circle with a pencil. It is best to trace a 9" plate for this. Put the pencil marked side down. Line a cookie sheet with the parchment paper.
- In your mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a medium or large bowl. Use high speed to make sure that the whites are foamy. When they are at the foamy stage (turned white with just a bit of a fluid nature) beat in the sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating while slowly adding the sugar. Make sure that the spoonful of sugar you added is well incorporated before adding the next. The meringue should come out very stiff and glossy.
- Using the back of a clean spoon, spread a layer of meringue in a circle on the parchment. Make the rim of the circle higher than the middle. You are trying to create an even border around the edge.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
- Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for another hour before removing the baking sheet.
- Allow this to cool for another hour or so at room temperature. Remove from the paper by passing a thin spatula under the meringue or by peeling the paper from it, taking extreme care not to break the meringue.
- Place the cooled Meringue Shell on your serving plate.
- In a non-reactive 2 quart saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Mix the dry ingredients well before heating to prevent lumps. Slowly add the water while cooking over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens and boils for 1 minute.
- Gradually add half of the hot mixture to a heat proof bowl containing the egg yolks. Beat this as the hot mixture is being added to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
- Return this to the saucepan with the rest of the mixture and mix thoroughly. Return to the heat and boil for one more minute. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the butter, lemon peel and lemon juice. Cool to room temperature in a clean bowl.
- Spoon the mixture into the Meringue Shell. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or overnight. Make sure it is not more than 24 hours
- On the day of serving, mix berries with lemon juice and sugar in a bowl. Allow to sit ten minutes to macerate.
- In a cup, mix cornstarch with kirschwasser until no lumps appear. Add water if needed to make a simple slurry.
- Add berries to a saucepan, and begin to cook over medium heat. Add the slurry. Stir gently, adding water, if necessary, to create a simple slightly thickened glaze. Remove from the heat and chill.
- In a clean chilled bowl, mix cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk until stiff.
- Spread over the lemon mixture on the Summer Torte. Top slices of Summer Torte with the Berry Mixture and serve.
Summer Torte may also be made with lime. Simply substitute grated lime peel for the lemon peel and lime juice for the lemon juice. This results in a light green color. Add a drop of green food coloring to add depth to the color.
You may also serve the Meringue Shell with a mixture of sliced summer fruit, sugar and 1/4 tablespoon of lemon juice. for a fresh fruity torte The torte works very well with lemon curd, lime curd, macerated fruit, cooked or fresh peaches or other softer fruits. Simply delish!
Using all but the whipped cream, this dessert may also be covered with a layer of fresh raspberries or strawberries.
The Meringue Shell makes a great nest for fresh berries. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve chilled.