If you are trying to shed a couple pounds this January, you might save this recipe for the next special occasion. It is incredibly rich but is light as a cloud. The recipe is basically two large meringues sandwiched with whipped cream and apricot homemade preserves. My mother used to make it for Christmas and we brought it back this year. My version is based on the Dacquoise recipe in my mother’s Grand Diplome Cooking Course Volume 12 published in 1972. Their recipe is complicated (blanching your own almonds) and is difficult to follow. I simplified it when I made the recipe again for my friends for New Year’s Eve.
This recipe is easiest if you make it over two days. The meringues need to cool over night to completely set. I broke it down into two days for cook’s ease.
Enjoy this recipe – make it for a special occasion – or challenge yourself in the kitchen this year with this recipe!
- 3/4 cup blanched almond meal
- 4 eggs whites
- 1 cup sugar
- pinch of cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup dried apricots
- strip of lemon rind
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 and 1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped until it holds a soft shape
Day 1: Make the Meringue
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Using a 8 inch cake pan, trace an 8 inch circle on the back of a piece of parchment paper.
Beat the egg whites until they hold a stuff peak. Add tablespoon of sugar and the cream of tartar. Beat together and then fold in the remaining sugar and almond meal.
Spread the meringue mixture between 2 baking sheets with the parchment paper. Spread the mixture to make 2 eight inch flat disks. Bake at 275 for 1 hour or until the parchment paper peels away cleanly. Be very careful as they are extremely fragile. Allow to cool in the oven (turned off) over night.
Day 2: Make the Filling and Assemble
For the filling, in a small saucepan cover the apricots and lemon rind with water to cover. Bring the water to a simmer and allow the apricots to soften (about 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the apricots (without the water and lemon) to a food processor and mince. Put the apricot mixture back into the saucepan and add lemon juice, sugar and water. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes or until syrupy. Allow to cool completely.
Whip the cream until it holds a soft shape. Fold in 3/4 of the apricot mixture into the whipped cream.
To assemble. sandwich the meringue layers together with whipped filling. Pipe whipped cream on the top and drizzle with additional apricot!
Optional – sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving! Refrigerate until serving.