How to make it

  • Meringues:
  • Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Using 8-inch (1.2 L) round metal cake pan as guide, trace 2 circles onto parchment paper. Turn paper over.
  • In bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, 2 tbsp (25 mL) at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form; fold in pecans and vanilla. Spoon onto circles, smoothing tops.
  • Bake in bottom third of 225°F (110°C) oven until dry and crisp, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Turn off oven; let cool in oven, 2 hours.
  • (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container in cool, dry place for up to 5 days.)
  • Praline:
  • Spread pecans on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. In heavy saucepan, stir sugar with 3 tbsp (50 mL) water over medium heat until dissolved, brushing down side of pan with pastry brush dipped in cold water.
  • Bring to boil; boil vigorously, without stirring but brushing down side of pan, until dark amber, about 8 minutes.
  • Pour over pecans; let cool. Break into pieces; chop coarsely and set aside. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 5 days.)
  • Soften ice cream in refrigerator until spreadable, about 30 minutes.
  • Place 1 meringue on 10-inch (25 cm) plate; spread with half of the ice cream. Sprinkle half of the praline pieces over top; press gently into ice cream. Top with remaining meringue; spread remaining ice cream over top and side, smoothing side. Cover with plastic wrap; freeze until very firm, about 8 hours. (Make-ahead: Freeze for up to 2 days.)
  • Dip 2 metal spatulas in warm water; dry off. Slide under edge of cake to loosen; transfer to serving platter. Sprinkle with remaining praline pieces.
  • Additional Information
  • Tip: Use rich, good-quality ice cream. Low-fat ice cream and frozen yogurt melt too quickly to allow for an attractive presentation and gracious serving.

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