You know those fancy, delicate desserts you think you can only eat in restaurants? Those are the things my Grandma makes in no time at all. But that’s coming from a woman who is the ultimate hostess. Case in point: an annual 300 person overseas Fourth of July party she used to host as part of the American consulate. No pressure. One of the most magical desserts Grandma makes is a Schaum Torte which is a German version of a Pavlova. A crunchy meringue with a slightly chewy inner layer is filled with ice cream and topped with seasonal fruit. While I’ve shared my love of meringues with you before, this is clearly the ultimate meringue.
You CAN make this recipe even if you’re not a professional career party throwing woman….and it’s much easier than it seems. All I needed was the Grandma tutorial, which I’m sharing with you now.
- 2 egg whites
- 2/3 C sugar plus roughly ¼ C additional
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- berries of choice ( I used wine berries and blackberries)
- ice cream or whipped cream
Directions: Wash bowls and whisk attachment thoroughly to remove grease which may prevent egg whites from reaching their full potential. Bring egg whites to room temperature. If you’ve just pulled them out of the fridge, place egg whites in a clean bowl. Place the bowl with egg whites into a bowl filled with warm water. This will speed up the process. Once the egg whites reach room temperature, whisk the egg whites until they become frothy.
Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat. As the egg whites increase in volume, add the sugar spoonful by spoonful. This amount will be at least 2/3 C of sugar. Begin to slowly add the additional sugar to the egg whites until the sugar no longer dissolves in the mixture. You should be able to feel granulation if you rub the mixture between your fingers.
The egg white mixture will be ready once it looks like thick whipped frosting with stiff peaks. From my experience, it’s a few minutes beyond the very glossy stage.
Preheat the oven to 225 F (Note: This is for a convection setting. Convection ovens cook things faster and at a lower temperature. For a bake setting, increase the temperature to 250 and allow to cook longer). On a clean baking sheet, spoon meringue into the desired size. You can make individual tortes or one very large one. Keep in mind the cooking time will differ depending on your choice. Using the back side of a spoon, make a nest in the center of the meringue for filling. Put the meringues in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The meringues are cooked slowly on a low temperature to keep their white color. When they are finished they will feel dry and crisp. Some may develop hairline cracks up the side.
When cool, serve with berries or seasonal fruit of choice and ice cream or whipped cream.
The Schaum Torte can easily become the most impressive healthy hostess desert. The meringue itself is fat free, and per serving, lower in sugar than many desserts. While the ice cream contains the most fat and sugar of the ingredients, you can either have a small amount of ‘the good stuff’, or choose whipped Greek Yogurt instead for a high protein and low fat option. Top with as many berries as you possibly can and wait to be asked “When can you teach me how to make this?".
Worth a try? Post your questions and meringue hopes here.
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.