Wednesday, November 16, 2011

20(ish)--- Cranberry Pistachio Eaton Mess

It has been my mission for the past two years to switch up Thanksgiving dinner a little bit. And since my in-laws have the majority of the must-haves covered, I have been limited (happily) to desserts (and mashed potatoes). Last year I made Punkin Puddin and Apple Pie Panna Cotta. With success. They were lots of mmmmm's and wow's from both.

When typical post-turkey sweet items may hit your belly with a THUD, these will float down nicely and settle on the turkey, dressing, gravy, green beans, potatoes, rolls, etc and so forth. Warning: They may not contain fewer calories and/or fat. They will satisfy without making you feel like a Macy's Parade balloon. All of the flavors.... a little fanciness..... less THUD.

This eaton mess is fantastic. It uses my Pistachio Meringues, crumbled and lightly mixed (or layered) with a homemade cranberry sauce and whipped cream.

Cranberry Pistachio Eaton Mess
Serves 6

2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed pistachios

Carefully separate egg whites from yolk. Tip: break each egg over a small bowl and separate white into bowl, making sure that no yolk follows the white. THEN transfer that white into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Repeat for remaining egg. This way, if you do have some yolk "seepage" it will not contaminate your other whites! You may freeze yolks for another recipe.

Add cream of tarter to egg white and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and continue mixing until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla and beat for additional 30 seconds. Gently fold in 1/4 cup chopped pistachios.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Gently spread meringue onto paper and spread thin, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pistachios.

Place oven racks in middle 1/3 of oven. Place one baking sheet on each rack and bake for ~1 hour or until meringue is crispy and cooked through (they will crisp up a bit once set at room temperature). Remove cooled meringue from baking sheet and crumble into 1 " pieces.

12 oz fresh cranberries
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

In a nonstick saucepan, combine apple juice, wine, and honey over medium heat. Stir frequently and simmer until mixture reduces slightly. Add cranberries and basil and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to simmer until berries burst and soften. Do not allow berries to become to mushy. Remove from heat, place mixture into a glass container and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, until cool.

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp sugar

Chill a bowl and beaters in freezer for 15 minutes. Add whipping cream to bowl and use a hand-held mixer to beat until thickened. Add vanilla and sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Two ways (just prior to serving):

1. Layer 1/2 cup crumbled meringue, 1/4 cup cranberry sauce, and 1/2 cup whipped cream into individual glasses. Sprinkle with crushed pistachios and serve parfait-style.

2. Fold crumbled meringue and cranberry sauce into whipped cream. Gently mix until combined (but not blended). Spoon into glasses and top with crushed pistachios.

1 comment:

  1. I love a good Eaton Mess, and with the healthy twist? Sold!! Not to mention chaotically gorgeous. ~Megan