This yummy dessert was Thomas Jefferson's favorite. This meringue-crusted, ice cream baked in pastry was named "Baked Alaska" in 1869 to celebrate the purchase of Alaska. I was a little scared to make it because I had never made anything so "fancy". But my family loved it, and most importantly my brother loved it! (This picture is not from the recipe I made but it was the only one I could find.)
Here is the recipe:
- 1 (16-ounce) frozen pound cake, thawed and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices, with edges trimmed
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 pints ice cream or sherbet, softened (I used chocolate chip ice cream)
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cake: Line 1 1/2- quart bowl with plastic wrap, letting the ends of the wrap overhang bowl. Line bowl with even layer of cake slices, positioning slices with no spaces in between. Stir 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup water until sugar dissolves, and brush mixture over cake slices. Fill bowl with ice cream and smooth surface. Top with remaining cake slices. Cover with overhanging wrap, weigh down top with plate, and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 1 week.
To serve: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Boil 1 cup of sugar with remaining 1/2 cup water until syrupy, about 4 minutes. With electric mixer, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt and beat to soft peaks. Slowly add sugar syrup and vanilla and beat until thick and cooled, about 6 minutes. Remove plastic and invert cake onto oven safe platter. Cover cake with meringue and bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.