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Strawberry Baked Alaska

INGREDIENTS:Strawberry Preserves:
20 oz. IQF whole California strawberries, thawed and sliced
5 oz. granulated sugar

Strawberry Ice Cream:
12 large egg yolks
8 oz. granulated sugar
1 pint milk
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup strawberry preserves

Strawberry Cake:
8 oz. cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
8 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
8 oz. sour cream
1 1/3 cups strawberry preserves

Baked Alaska Assembly: 2 cups egg whites
1 lb., 6 oz. granulated sugar
pinch of salt

Rhubarb Consomme (yields about 7 cups):
7 lbs., 8 oz. rhubarb, fresh or IQF, cut in ½ inch pieces
1 ½ cups lemon grass, sliced
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
3 750-ml bottles sweet wine (e.g. Moscato d’Asti)
1 lb., 8 oz. granulated sugar
2 lbs., 4 oz. California strawberries, stemmed and thinly sliced DIRECTIONS:To make Strawberry Preserves: In heavy saucepan, heat strawberries and sugar on medium heat, stirring ocasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Cool. Yields about 2 1/3 cups.

To make Strawberry Ice Cream: In medium bowl, whisk together yolks and sugar. In large saucepan, bring milk and cream to boil; pour slowly into yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats back of spoon; strain into bowl. Cool in ice bath, stirring occasionally. Whisk in strawberry preserves. Freeze in ice cream machine. Yields 2 quarts.

To make Strawberry Cake: Heat oven to 350°F. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together; set aside. In mixer, cream butter and sugar with paddle until light and fluffy; add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl down after each addition. Add half of flour mixture; mix just until combined. Add sour cream; mix until just combined. Add remaining flour; mix until combined. Fold in strawberry preserves. Coat half-sheet pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment; spray again. Spread batter evenly on pan; bake about 20 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and springs back when touched. Cool completely.

For Baked Alaska Assembly: Cut strawberry cake into 24 2 ½ inch rounds; place on parchment-lined sheet pan. Scoop ¼ cup strawberry ice cream onto each cake, leaving ½ inch border of cake around ice cream. Freeze until ice cream is solidly frozen. In clean, dry bowl, whisk egg whites and sugar gently over simmering water until sugar melts and egg whites are hot to the touch. Transfer to mixer bowl; add salt and whisk on high speed until meringue forms stiff glossy peaks. Place in piping bag with ½ inch round tip. Starting at cake base, pipe meringue over ice cream, spiraling up to cover ice cream completely. Store in freezer up to 1 day. Yield: 24 Baked Alaskas. To make Rhubarb Consomme: In medium saucepan, combine all consomme ingredients; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until rhubarb is completely tender and falling apart.

Strain liquid through fine strainer without pushing on solids. Strain liquid again through chinois or coffee filter. Cool and refrigerate. Yields about 7 cups.

For each serving, to order: Heat oven to 500°F. In small saucepan, heat 1/3 cup strawberries and ¼ cup rhubarb consomme until warm. Place 1 Baked Alaska in oven for 2 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Place Baked Alaska in shallow soup dish; pour consomme and strawberries around. Serve immediately. SERVINGS:24 servings From:Chef Mindy Segal, MK and MK North, Chicag PHOTO CREDIT:Photo Credit: CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRY COMMISSION