INGREDIENTS for a 12″ round Meringata
1 container Lady Finger cookies (un pacco di Savoiardi)
1 can peaches in heavy syrup (un barattolo di pesche sciroppate)
a quart heavy whipping cream (un litro di panna da montare)
about 12 oz. meringues (circa 250 grammi spumiglie)
about 4.4 oz. dark chocolate finely chopped (circa 125 gr. cioccolato fondente tagliato finemente)
about 30 Amaretti cookies (3.5 oz.) (circa 30 amaretti, 100 gr.)
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CUSTARD (CREMA PASTICCERA)
6 yolks (6 tuorli)
2 oz. or 1/4 cup all porpose flour (45 gr. farina)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (1 cucchiaino di aroma alla vaniglia)
2/3 cup sugar (140 gr. zucchero)
16 oz. or 2 cups whole milk (500 ml. di latte intero)
1 lemon zest (la scorza di un limone)
DIRECTIONS for making the custard
A few hours before making the cake, or even the day before, prepare the custard according to this recipe. (To build your Meringata, the custard MUST be cool.).
FOR THE MERINGUES
You can easily buy meringues at the groceries store, but if you prefer to make them from scratch, follow this recipe, and these quantities:
200 gr. cold egg whites (usually 6 or 7 cold egg whites)
2 cups granulated sugar (400 gr.)
optional :1 tsp. lemon extract
To build your Meringata
Separate the peaches from their syrup and save the syrup for later (you have to soak the Lady Fingers in it). Crumble the Amaretti and arrange them on a round platter to form the first layer of the cake, and sprinkle with the chopped dark chocolate.
The next layer will be made by crumbling the meringues. Crumble them into coarse pieces- big enough to be felt when you eat the cake.
Whip the whipping cream and cover the meringues. Spreading whipped cream on chunks of meringues can be a little challenging, so I usually arrange small dollops of whipped cream close together, and then spread it evenly, so as to cover the layer underneath.
Next, soak the Lady Fingers in the peach syrup and layer them onto the cake. (If you haven’t enough syrup from the peaches, you can dilute it with water and sugar. For each Tbs. of water you add, you need to add a tsp. of sugar.)
Spread the custard evenly on the lady fingers.
Cut the peaches into pieces and arrange them on the custard, in a way to cover every free spot.
Make another layer of whipped cream, and this time make sure to cover not only the top of the cake, but also the sides.
Finish your awesome cake buy covering it with the crumbled meringues left.
Put your Meringata in the freezer at least 5 or 6 hours. Let it thaw a little before serving: it will be like eating an ice-cream, with no ice-cream at all!
LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!
– It really make sense deciding to make also the meringues from scratch since to make the custard you will have 6 eggs white left. If you agree with me, I suggest you to make the custard and the meringues the day before making the cake. Only be sure to cover the custard properly with a plastic wrap and keep it refrigerated until it’s time to use it.
– This cake could be filled with any kind of fruit you prefer (even a fruit cocktail). The important part is that you use a syrup to soak the Lady Finger with the same taste of the fruit you picked (or otherwise use just water and sugar as syrup). I usually make Meringata with peaches or strawberry because they give to the cake a very light and delicate taste, but I would say that using a mix of berries would be a delicious alternative!
– Keep your “Meringata” in the freezer until a couple hours before serving it, and then move it to the refrigerator until the moment you are ready to cut and serve it.
– For sure this cake is ideal for the summer time, since is very refreshing, but honestly, I made it in February, with 8 F. outside, and everybody loved it anyway!
– Considering the white color, meringata could fit perfectly as a wedding or a first communion, but if you use a bit of creativity, by using blue or pink meringues you could prepare it for a baby shower, or by writing numbers on top with chocolate or crumbled cookies, it could be a perfect Birthday cake… Look how cute it turned out with a heart made out of crumbled Amaretti cookies, for a “neutral” Baby shower…
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