Heavenly Cassata
Author: adapted from Linda Griffith
Prep time: 40 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 40 mins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup egg whites, room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1½ quarts strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and/or raspberries
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch or 1 tablespoon raspberry liqueur
Instructions
  1. For the meringue:
  2. Butter a 10” springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and then butter the parchment. Preheat oven to 325°.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until very soft peaks form. Add vinegar.
  4. With the mixer on, begin to add the sugar, a bit at a time. Beat until the mixture is stiff and shining.
  5. Spoon the meringue into the prepared pan working around the edge first, using a large spoon to scoop the meringue out of the mixing bowl and a rubber spatula to scrape the meringue off the spoon. Once the edge has meringue scooped around it, transfer the remaining meringue into the middle of the springform. Smooth the meringue, leaving a well in the center. There will still be a layer of meringue on the bottom of the pan. Place the springform pan onto a piece of aluminum foil.
  6. Bake at 325° for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool. When the meringue first comes out, it will look like it is about to go flying over. Then it will fall into the pan as it cools.
  7. For the filling:
  8. Remove ½ quart of the berries for topping the cake and set aside.
  9. Hull and slice the remaining strawberries, if using. Wash and dry all of the berries (except those being used for the top.) Toss with confectioners sugar and kirsch or raspberry liqueur and let sit for at least 45 minutes.
  10. Use a small metal spatula to go around the edge of the springform, keeping the pan closed. If there are any holes in the shell, move some of the meringue around to cover them.
  11. Beat the whipping cream until stiff. Fold in the sour cream. Add the berries to the cream using a slotted spoon so only the berries, and not the juice, are transferred. Spoon the filling into the shell. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  12. Just before serving, decorate the top of the cake with the remaining berries. Remove the side of the springform pan.
  13. If desired, transfer the cake from the bottom of the springform to a serving plate. To do this, place two spatulas between the parchment paper and springform bottom (think of a clock and place the spatulas at 3:00 and 9:00.) Carefully lift the cake and transfer over to the serving plate.
  14. Betsy's tidbits:
  15. I measure the sugar in a measuring cup and then transfer the sugar to a 2 cup measuring glass. I find it easier to gradually add the sugar to the egg whites this way.
  16. The cake may be served from the springform bottom if you do not wish to transfer the cake off. Simply place the springform bottom onto a serving plate.
  17. I prefer a mixture of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and/or blueberries. I base my selection of which ones look best.
  18. Do not assemble earlier than 6 hours before serving.
Recipe by Desserts Required at http://www.dessertsrequired.com/heavenly-cassata