Strawberry Baked Alaska

Chef Andrea Reusing makes every part of these lovely basked Alaskas from scratch—even the graham crackers for the base. She says it's OK to use store-bought grahams, though, and also says that if making homemade ice cream isn't your thing, you can sub in a good prepared brand. Slideshow: More Strawberry Recipes

Strawberry Baked Alaska
Chef Andrea Reusing makes each and every part of these lovely strawberry basked Alaskas from scratch—even the graham crackers for the base. She says it’s OK to use store-bought grahams, though, and if making homemade ice cream isn’t your thing, you can sub in a good prepared brand. Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
12 hrs 30 mins
Yield:
8

Ingredients

ICE CREAM:

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche

  • 1/3 cup strawberry syrup made with real strawberries

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

BERRIES:

  • 1 pound strawberries, quartered

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

CRUST:

  • 9 whole graham crackers, half finely crushed and half coarsely crushed

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

MERINGUE:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 large egg whites

  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • Pinch of kosher salt

Directions

  1. Prepare the ice cream In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the heavy cream, crème fraîche, strawberry syrup and salt. Refrigerate the ice cream base until it is well chilled, about 2 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, marinate the berries In a medium bowl, toss the quartered strawberries with the granulated sugar and lemon juice and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring the strawberries occasionally. Finely chop 1/2 cup of the strawberries and refrigerate the rest.

  3. Make the crust In a medium bowl, mix the finely crushed and coarsely crushed graham cracker crumbs with the butter, brown sugar and salt until evenly moistened.

  4. Line eight 4- to 6-ounce ramekins with small pieces of plastic wrap, allowing 1 inch of overhang all around. Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker; freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fold in the finely chopped strawberries, then spoon the ice cream into the ramekins. Sprinkle the crumbs on top of each ramekin, pressing to adhere. Wrap the overhanging plastic over the crust, then freeze until very firm, at least 6 hours.

  5. Prepare the meringue In a saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and ¼ cup of water. Bring to a boil, then cook over moderate heat until the syrup registers 240° on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. At medium speed, carefully beat in the hot sugar syrup until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until the meringue is stiff, glossy and firm, 3 to 5 minutes.

  6. Use the plastic wrap to lift the ice cream cakes out of the ramekins; invert onto a platter. Using a small offset spatula and working quickly, spread the meringue all over the cakes. Freeze until firm, 1 hour.

  7. Using a pastry torch, toast the meringue until browned in spots. Serve with the macerated strawberries.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 6 and frozen for up to 3 days.

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