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Barbecued Alaskas Recipe

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The ice cream inside the Alaskas remains magically frozen despite sitting over hot flames on the grill.

Yield: 
6 servings
Ingredients: 

1 loaf pound cake (about 3" x 3" x 7")
About 4 cups ice cream (any flavour)
Whites of 3 large eggs
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Instructions: 

Step 1: Using a sharp serrated knife, cut off the rounded top of the pound cake. Slice the cake horizontally into two 1" thick slabs. With a 2-1/2"-diameter round cutter, cut 6 rounds from the slabs (you'll just get 3 rounds from each slab).

Step 2: Place each round of cake in its own small metal pie pan (see tips below). Mound ice cream on each round to form a dome that's about 1-3/4" high. Don't allow ice cream to hang over edge of cake. Press out any air pockets in ice cream. Repeat for all cake rounds. Don't let the carton of ice cream or the ice cream in the Alaska soften. Re-freeze before continuing if melting begins. When mounding is complete, place Alaska in freezer.

Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with a mixer on high speed until they are thick and foamy. Continue mixing while adding the lemon juice, then gradually add the sugar. Whip until the meringue looks dense and white, like melted marshmallows, and forms peaks that hold their shape.

Step 4: Using a large palette knife, ice each Alaska with 1/2" layer of meringue, being sure meringue covers entire surface. Freeze Alaskas in their pans overnight.

Step 5: To cook, preheat gas barbecue to hot with lid closed. Check that barbecue is not smoking. (Alaska should ideally be cooked at a covered barbecue temperature of about 550ºF, but virtually any hot barbecue will work.)

Step 6: Place 1 or 2 of the frozen pans on upper grill of barbecue. (Do not cook Alaskas all at the same time since precise timing is required in testing and removing them quickly when they are finished cooking.)

Step 7: Cook Alaskas 1 minute, then check meringue by gently pressing fingertip against it. It should set into a spongy crust that doesn't rub off onto your finger. Replace lid if meringue is too soft. Check every 15 seconds for another minute, replacing lid each time. Finished meringue should still be white, but with golden patched and a few charred tips. Alaskas require a total of 1-2 minutes cooking time.

Step 8: When crusts are set, slide each Alaska — still in pan — onto a plate and serve immediately. Repeat for remaining Alaskas.

Tips: Use metal pie or tart pans with a bottom of at least 5" in diameter. Avoid pans with non-stick coatings. Standard disposable aluminum pie plates will also work well. Be sure to clear adequate space in freezer to hold Alaskas and pans overnight.

Photographer: 

Rob Fiocca

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