This dessert is amazing. It doesn’t take a ton of actual work, but you do have to start making it about 24 hours before you want to serve it. And it is soooo worth it.
Imagine cherry pie filling floating on a magical cloud of meringue, whipped cream and marshmallows. If you love sugar (and if you don’t, why are you reading this blog?) it doesn’t get much better than this.
I will confess: the first time I made this was the other day, when our friends were coming over. And I spent most of the day working (and watching NCIS… why can’t I stop?) so I didn’t start the meringue until pretty late. That’s when I noticed that not only did it need to stay in the oven overnight, but the other part is supposed to chill for 12-14 hours. Oops. Luckily the filling set just fine in six hours in the freezer.
A few notes on this: 1. You can use fresh fruit or a combination of fresh fruit and canned pie filling for the topping if you’d like. Fresh strawberries would probably go really well with it. For the cherries, I would recommend Comstock cherry pie filling (or Cherries and Cherries from Cherry Republic), because the kind I used was a little weird.
2. The recipe calls for heavy cream/whipping cream, but you can just use Cool Whip if you want to cut down on the fat and are tired of whipping things. I used actual cream but my mom usually uses Cool Whip and it is still really good.
3. I made the mistake of heaping all the filling on top of the meringue at once, instead of spreading it out slowly. This caused the meringue to crack. So don’t do that!
Cherries on a cloud
Meringue (first layer)
6 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 3/4 cups sugar
Heat oven to 275. Butter a 9×13-inch cake pan. In a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer) beat the egg whites and cream of tartar. Add sugar 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue beating until mixture forms stiff peaks. Spread in pan. Bake for one hour, then turn off heat. Leave in oven with door closed for 12 hours*.
Filling (second layer)
2 cups whipping cream
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup miniature marshmallows
In a chilled bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff (should be the consistency of whipped cream/Cool Whip). In another bowl, blend the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Gently fold the whipping cream and miniature marshmallows into the cream cheese mixture. Carefully spread over the meringue. Chill at least six hours in the freezer.
Cut “cloud” into squares and top with cherry pie filling (Only put cherries on what you plan to serve) Return leftover “cloud” to the freezer.
*If you’re worried someone might open the oven door before the 12 hours are over, tell him the oven unicorn will come out and poke him with his horn if he opens it. It worked for me.