Cook the Book: Leche Merengada

ctb-theperfectscoop.jpg Leche merengada, or meringued milk, is a frozen cinnamon and lemon flavored meringue from Spain. It can also serve as a beverage if you prefer not to freeze it. As as I'm not going to Spain anytime soon, I'll definitely try David Lebovitz's simple recipe from The Perfect Scoop.

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Leche Merengada
- makes about 1 quart (1 liter) -

2 cups (500 ml) whole milk

1/2 cup (100 g) sugar

Pinch of salt

Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks, or 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 lemon, preferably unsprayed

2 large egg whites, at room temperature (see Note)

1. Heat the milk in a medium, nonreactive saucepan with 6 tablespoons (75 g) of the sugar, salt, and the cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon. Zest the lemon directly into the saucepan. Once the mixture is warm and the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl, and chill thoroughly.

2. In a large metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer or by hand until they form soft peaks. Whip in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue to beat until the whites are stiff and glossy. Remove the cinnamon sticks, if using, and fold the cold milk mixture into the meringue, using a flexible rubber spatula.

3. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Leche Merengada will take longer to freeze than a traditional ice cream or sorbet. You can also simply freeze it in the mixing bowl, checking it after an hour in the freezer and beating it with a flexible rubber spatula occasionally while it's freezing.

NOTE: This recipe calls for uncooked egg whites. Most supermarkets now carry pasteurized egg whites, which you may wish to use if you have health concerns. Be sure to read the packaging, since some pasteurized egg whites aren't suitable for whipping.

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