Our family has always celebrated America’s independence in a big way! Our annual 4th of July lobster bakes were a time for families to come together and celebrate the freedoms we’re given as Americans. We invited neighbors, employees, customers and friends, which usually meant we’d be preparing for quite the celebration! With nearly 600 guests, my husband and I made sure to have activities that were family-focused. During the day, kids enjoyed pony rides, moon bounces, snow cones, and cotton candy, while my husband and his crew of volunteers cooked the lobsters, steamers, corn and potatoes in huge steel drums layered with seaweed. As the sun set, families would pick a spot on our hillside pasture to watch Stephen’s fireworks show. This red, white and blue dessert reminds me of those Independence Day celebrations!
I’ve made this cool and refreshing recipe for years and quickly learned to hide them from my kids until it was time to serve dessert. My youngest son, Garrett, found himself whisking egg whites before a dinner party after he ate the entire batch I had hidden in the laundry room. They are delicious and a snap to make, just ask Garrett!
Meringues with Berries
Serves 12 to 16
6 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups sugar
1 pint of vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar together until frothy. Gradually beat in the sugar a little at a time. Beat on high speed until very stiff and glossy.
For individual meringue shells, drop spoonfuls of batter on a parchment lined baking sheet. Use the back of the spoon to hollow out the mound of batter and create a nest.
Bake 60 minutes. Turn off the oven, leaving the meringues in the oven until it has cooled.
Peel meringue shells from parchment paper. You may store these in a plastic storage bag for up to a week. When ready to serve, fill each meringue nest with ice cream and top with fresh berries and whipped cream.