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Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Soft and billowy or sweet and crisp, meringue is a chameleon in the kitchen: Use it as a dessert topping, a magic mix-in that gives rise to dense cakes, even as cookie-like crumbles that lend crunch to all sorts of ... Read more

Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus cooling time | Serves 6 to 8
  • 1/2 cup golden or red flame raisins
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 cup fresh orange juice (from about 3 large oranges), divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons dark rum, divided
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 2 pounds 2 ounces strawberries, hulled and quartered, divided
  • 1 star anise, lightly toasted
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
  • Softened butter for greasing the pans
  • 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fromage blanc
  • 3/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Step 1Poach the raisins: In a small heavy saucepan, combine the raisins, wine, 1 tablespoon orange juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the rum and 2 tablespoons sugar. Bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Lower the heat so the liquid is at a bare simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.

Step 2Remove the pan from the heat, cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer the raisins to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. This makes a generous one-half cup raisins; you will need 2 tablespoons for this recipe.

Step 3Make the strawberry sauce: Set aside 2 cups of the strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar. In a heavy saucepan, combine the remaining strawberries with one-fourth cup water, three-fourths cup sugar, the remaining three-fourths cup orange juice, star anise and Grand Marnier. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to infuse for 10 minutes, then remove the plastic and discard the star anise. Cover with plastic again and allow to sit for 2 hours. Pass the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer and set aside or refrigerate if not using right away.

Step 4For the "pancakes," place a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Generously butter two 9- or 10-inch glass pie plates or round cake pans. Add a heaping tablespoon of sugar to each pan and tap and turn the pans to dust evenly. Tap out any excess sugar.

Step 5In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of the sugar until the mixture is light and lemony-yellow. Beat in the fromage blanc and scrape down the bowl and beaters. Beat in the creme fraiche and rum. Beat in the flour and 2 tablespoons of the raisins. Set aside.

Step 6In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until they foam, then add the cream of tartar. Turn up the speed to medium and continue to beat while streaming in 7 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat the whites to medium-stiff peaks.

Step 7Fold half of the egg whites into the creme fraiche base. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is just starting to puff and color. Turn the pans 180 degrees and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, until puffed and golden-brown. The center should be pudding-like.

Step 8Meanwhile, in a large skillet, bring the strawberry sauce to a boil over high heat. Add the final 2 tablespoons sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the reserved 2 cups strawberries and heat through, then remove from the heat and divide among the serving plates.

Step 9When the pancakes are done, remove them from the oven and, using a serving spoon, divide each into 6 or 8 portions. Place two portions on each plate and dust with powdered sugar. You can also arrange all the portions on a platter, with the sauce, and serve family style. Serve immediately.

Note: From "Desserts by the Yard" by Sherry Yard. (Kaiserschmarren is a large souffled pancake.) This recipe makes more poached raisins than are needed for the kaiserschmarren; the remaining raisins will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks.


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