I remember making this dessert when I was a teenager. I read about it in one of those great church cookbooks, and the method seemed so unusual to me I had to try it. It works perfectly and is one of my favorite desserts.
For food safety reasons, you really should use pasteurized eggs in this recipe. Pasteurized eggs can be found in almost any supermarket; ask the grocery manager for them if your doesn’t stock this product. The eggs are briefly heated, just long enough to kill bacteria, but not long enough to cook the eggs. Because the proteins are very slightly denatured (cooked), the egg whites will take a bit longer to beat to stiff peaks. Just keep going!
Because of the frozen strawberries and syrup, the egg whites take quite a long time to beat to stiff peaks. But the lemon juice helps the protein denaturing process along. (Isn’t food science fun?) Using a stand mixer is a good idea, but you can still make this recipe using a hand-held mixer.
You can also make this dessert with other frozen fruits. Frozen raspberries or peaches would be fabulous! Garnish with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, a few fresh pieces of the whole fruit used in the dessert, and a mint sprig or two.
Mile High Strawberry Dessert
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen strawberries, thawed
- 3 pasteurized egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In medium bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, flour, and pecans until crumbly. Press into the bottom of a 9×13″ pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 154 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack, then crumble the crust in the pan. Reserve 1/2 cup for topping; press remaining crumbs into the bottom of the pan.
In large mixing bowl, combine strawberries, egg whites, sugar, and lemon juice. Beat at high speed for 15-20 minutes, until mixture quadruples in volume and becomes light, thick, and fluffy.
In small stainless-steel mixing bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into strawberry mixture. Pour over crumb base in pan, then sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Freeze until solid.
When ready to serve, remove from freezer for 15 minutes, then slice and serve. Serves 12
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