Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
One of the favored desserts in Milwaukee, with its large community of German-Americans, is the Schaum torte, a large basket or shell of crisp meringue enclosing a whipped cream filling with strawberries or other fresh fruit. Prairie Home Cooking
FOR THE MERINGUE TORTES
- 4 egg whites
- 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE FILLING
- 2 pints fresh strawberries (small to medium)
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar, to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bring water to a simmer in the bottom pan of a double boiler, add the egg whites and confectioners sugar to the top pan, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is very thick and will hold its shape, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk in the vanilla, remove from the heat, and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Spoon the mixture, in batches if necessary, into a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tube (or form a rectangle of waxed paper into a funnel shape and snip off the pointed end to make a pastry tube).
- Pipe onto the parchment-lined baking sheet 8 meringue circles each about 4 inches in diameter.
- Pipe more meringue into the center of each circle to form the bottom of the basket.
- In a circular motion, pipe more meringue around the perimeter of each basket to make the sides of the basket.
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the meringues are set and crisp on the outside.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- (The meringues may be made several days ahead and kept in an airtight tin.).
- MAKE THE FILLING: Reserve 8 perfect strawberries for garnish.
- Mash the remaining strawberries with a potato masher in a large bowl.
- Stir in the lemon juice and then the sugar.
- Taste, and add more sugar if you like.
- Beat the cream until it holds soft peaks.
- Fold the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture.
- Place the meringues on individual plates, spoon the strawberry mixture into the baskets, garnish each serving with a fresh strawberry, and serve.