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Cinnamon Meringue Filled With Pineapple and Raspberries

Cinnamon flavors this thick meringue shell that is crisp on the outside and has a chewy interior. The shell could also be filled with ice cream, mousse or whipped cream and whatever fruit is in season. Plan to use about 4 cups of fruit to fill a meringue shell. The meringue shell can be prepared ahead and stored in a dry place or frozen, but once filled it must be served immediately.

Butter for pan
Powdered sugar for dusting pan
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup superfine granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
1 pint raspberries, gently washed
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups cold whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Fresh mint, optional

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Butter paper lightly and dust with powdered sugar. With dull end of knife, make a 9-inch circle on parchment paper.

To make meringue: Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in clean large bowl on low speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. On medium speed, slowly beat in superfine granulated sugar. (See note.) Mix in cornstarch and cinnamon. Mix in lemon juice and vanilla.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Spread meringue mixture over marked circle, forming slight rim and depressed center. Bake about 1 1/2 hours until meringue feels crisp on outside. Cool on baking sheet. (Meringue may crack slightly around rim.) Inside of meringue will be chewy and soft. Meringue can be wrapped and stored overnight in dry place or frozen up to 1 month.

To make filling: Mix together pineapple, raspberries (we used black raspberries) and granulated sugar in large bowl. Let stand 15 minutes. Beat cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in large bowl on medium speed until firm peaks form.

To assemble: Carefully lift cooled meringue onto cardboard cake circle or cake plate. Leaving rim of meringue plain, spread whipped cream over meringue shell. Spoon fruit over whipped cream. Garnish with fresh mint. Serve immediately. Makes 10 servings.

Note: For this meringue, superfine granulated sugar dissolves easily as the meringue bakes. Sold in 1-pound boxes, this finely ground sugar is found in the sugar section of supermarkets, but you can also process granulated sugar in a food processor for about 30 seconds to make fine sugar granules.

The Portland Oregonian

Thursday, June 22, 2000

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