Natural barriers such as the Atacama Desert, the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean isolated Chile from the rest of the world for many centuries, allowing many old traditions to survive. For instance, dishes that gained and lost popularity in Europe still appear on Chilean tables. This elegant, old-fashioned dessert is a perfect example. The meringue is customarily served with a custard sauce, but a raspberry puree would make a colorful and delicious accompaniment.
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Mint leaves, for garnish
Vanilla Custard Sauce
How to Make It
In a small saucepan, combine the wine and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon. Simmer over moderate heat until a candy thermometer registers 248°, about 15 minutes.
In a heatproof mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar at moderate speed until soft peaks form. Then, beating constantly at high speed, slowly pour the hot wine syrup into the egg whites. Continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy.
Spoon the soft meringue into a serving bowl or decorative wineglasses. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts, garnish with mint and serve. Pass the <Vanilla Custard Sauce separately.
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