I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for Associates to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.Jump to Recipe
I love hollandaise sauce; it really amps up steamed broccoli. It also elevates simple scrambled eggs to a gourmet breakfast. (I know this is a strange introduction for a sweet dessert, just hang with me for another second.) The only “problem” with my hollandaise sauce is that it only uses egg yolks, not the whites. This leaves me with a small bowl of 3 egg whites with nowhere to go. I don’t believe in wasting food. I flatly refuse to waste it, which leaves me with a creative way to use these egg whites. Hmmm, let’s consider the options. I could make a homemade natural facial mask – in case you’re interested, there are all sorts of fun egg-white facials; google it. I decided to let that option ride and opted instead to use the egg whites to make a meringue dessert. Solid decision!
A meringue is always an excellent option for egg whites. I could have made cookies, but I wanted to do something a little special. Here’s how my brain works. There are two holidays in February – Valentine’s Day and President’s Day. Valentine’s Day is all about hearts, and my favorite childhood President story was George Washington cutting down the cherry tree. Therefore, it seemed very appropriate to make the meringue in the form of a big heart and fill it with cherries and add a little whipped cream. Oh ya – now we’re talking!
To zhoosh up the flavor, I added a dash of almond extract to the meringue. Then, I thought, why stop there? I had some sliced almonds in the pantry, so I tossed them in an 8-inch skillet and lightly browned them. After the meringue was whipped up in stiff peaks, I gently folded in the toasted almonds. So good!!! If you don’t have almonds or don’t like almonds, no worries. The meringue is delicious, just as it is.
Meringues look so fancy that it’s hard to believe how easy it is to make. It’s important to use egg whites that are room temperature, not chilled. Letting them sit on the counter while you prep the other ingredients is about the right amount of time. The first thing I did was trace a heart shape on a piece of parchment paper. Although I chose to make a heart, a round shape will still be pretty. Regardless, you’ll want to bake your meringue on parchment paper or brown paper (my Mom always cut up a brown paper grocery bag). Wax paper will NOT work.
Cherry pie filling is a great invention. I always have a can in my pantry. Adding a half teaspoon of vanilla will give the filling a homemade taste. Everything is better with whipped topping. Hold off on adding the topping until you are ready to serve. It’s never been easier to show your love, any day of the year, with this colorful, fruity, and heavenly sweet dessert. (Be sure to check out my Holiday Hollandaise Sauce so you have a use for 3 egg yolks!)
Easy Cherry-Almond Meringue DessertCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
An almond flavored meringue shell topped with a cherry filling is an easy and delicious dessert for those you love
• 3 large egg whites
• 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
• 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
• Dash salt
• 2/3 cup sugar
• ½ cup sliced almonds – optional
• 1 can Cherry Pie Filling
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• Whipped topping – optional
- Pre-heat oven to 250. Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. (Use this time to complete step 2, 3 and 4.)
- Outline shape on parchment paper, place parchment paper on baking sheet with ink side facing bottom of the pan (you will be able to see the ink tracing).
- Lightly brown almonds is a skillet over low heat.
- Mix cherry pie filing and almond extract in a small bowl
- Add vanilla, cream of tartar and salt to the room temperature egg whites; beat on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form, about 7 minutes.
- Spoon meringue on to parchment paper. Start in the middle and gently push meringue to edges of the heart. Create a slight indentation with the edges of the heart being slightly raised. You want to create a shallow well for the cherry pie mixture.
- Bake until firm to the touch, 45 minutes. Turn off oven; leave meringues in oven 1 hour (leave oven door closed). Remove from oven; place on a cooling rack. Remove meringues from paper; store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Spoon cherry mixture in the shallow well of the baked meringue in a heart shape. If desired, top the outside of the heart with dollops of whipped topping, prior to serving
- Vanilla extract can be substituted for almond extract.
- This recipe can be made without the almonds.