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City Palate Recipe: Almond Citrus Ricotta Cake

Desserts

Butterscotch Nut Meringue Squares

Nov/Dec 2009

As the squares bake, the nuts sink into the middle, leaving them sandwiched between a rich, chewy butterscotch base and a light, crunchy meringue top.

Base:

3 T. butter

1 c. packed brown sugar

1 large egg white

1 t. vanilla

2/3 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 t. salt

Topping:

2 large egg whites

pinch salt

1/3 c. sugar

1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 350°F. To make the base: combine the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until the edges bubble and the sugar dissolves, but don’t bring it to a boil. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer it to a medium bowl to cool. When it has cooled to lukewarm, beat in the egg white and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour and salt and stir by hand just until the ingredients are combined. Spread the batter into an 8” x 8” pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

To make the topping: beat the egg whites and salt in a stainless steel or glass bowl until they hold soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar, beating until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Fold in the nuts and drop the topping in spoonfuls over the butterscotch layer, then gently spread it to cover the base. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the topping is puffy and golden. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Makes 16 squares.