Baked Alaska

It’s ice cream on fire! What more do you need to know?

SAVEUR - - Kitchen -

with a freezer full of ice cream from “Churn Af­ter Read­ing” (page 24), we de­cided to make some­thing with it (rather than merely grab spoon­fuls each time we walked by the fridge). Baked Alaska, a 19th-cen­tury Amer­i­can dessert of lay­ered ice cream cloaked with meringue, came to mind. The choices of how to make baked Alaska are end­less—some con­tain only one type of ice cream, oth­ers three or more; some have a layer of cake as a base, oth­ers don’t; some are flam­béed, oth­ers not. We went full throt­tle by us­ing three plen­ti­ful ice cream lay­ers sep­a­rated by crum­bled choco­late cook­ies atop a fudgy, flour­less choco­late cake. Then we topped it with a splash of rum and set it ablaze, be­cause the best part of this old-school dessert is the drama. —Eric Van­der­steen USE AN OFF­SET SPAT­ULA to spread one ice cream fla­vor at a time. Al­low each at least 10 min­utes to harden in the freezer be­fore adding the next.

THE BEST THICK­NESS for the meringue coat is about ½ inch. Any thicker and it will weep; too thin and it will dis­in­te­grate in the freezer. For the best tex­ture, ap­ply the meringue no more than 4–6 hours be­fore ig­nit­ing.

MERINGUE WILL NOT STICK TO SOR­BET. You can layer ice cream in any patleft tern or thick­ness you like, but be sure the outer layer is dairy-based, or coat dairyfree domes with a thin layer of cake crumbs, chopped nuts, or co­coa nibs be­fore adding meringue.

BLOW­TORCH MERINGUE be­fore it’s flam­béed to give it a deeply toasted marsh­mal­low fla­vor that the flambé alone won't pro­vide.

Since booze will slip down the sides if driz­zled on top, NES­TLE HALF A CLEAN EG­GSHELL into the top of the meringue be­fore freez­ing. To serve, fill it with over­proof rum and light with a long match or lighter. Care­fully la­dle more rum into the shell for a “flam­ing vol­cano” ef­fect. To avoid slic­ing rock­hard ice cream, TEM­PER BAKED ALASKA IN THE RE­FRIG­ER­A­TOR for 20–30 min­utes be­fore serv­ing. Dip a sharp knife in warm wa­ter and wipe it clean be­tween each cut. Find our full recipe for baked Alaska at bakedalaska

Rasp­berry ice cream; see page 28 for recipe. Pis­ta­chio ge­lato; see page 28 for recipe.

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