French Berry Torte
For a showstopping dessert that highlights the peak of berry season, turn to this luscious meringue dressed with jam, sweetened whipped cream and strawberries. —GaleLynn Peterson, Long Beach, California
Total TimePrep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 25 min. + cooling
- 3 large egg whites
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 10 saltines, crushed
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam, divided
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
- Place egg whites, 1 teaspoon vanilla and cream of tartar in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Beat egg white mixture until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff speaks form. Fold in pecans and saltines.
- Spread into a greased 9-in. springform pan. Bake 350° for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 2 tablespoons cream until smooth. In another bowl, beat remaining cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and remaining vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.
- With a spatula, stir a fourth of the sweetened whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Fold in remaining whipped cream until combined. Spread 1/2 cup jam over meringue shell. Top with cream cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Remove sides of pan. Arrange strawberries over top. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave remaining jam in 10-second intervals until melted; brush over strawberries.