Ben the Baker

Just a guy trying to get his kids to eat

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Salzburg Nockrel

Posted by osakaben41 on February 3, 2010

Let me state for the record, I’m not German, or Austrian for that matter.  There was a time when, backpacking through Asia and Africa, it was easier to just let people assume I was, but I can only guess it was the wire frame glasses and blonde hair that did it.  Rather, I can claim true mutt status, like any good American, and thereby savage the national desserts of  all countries without bias.  (Don’t worry India, or Croatia, your turn is coming).

Having said that, my mother recently celebrated a birthday at an amazing Austrian restaurant and came across this dessert that I had never heard of before, the Salzburg Nockrel, and I had spent some time in Salzburg too.  How embarrassing, all that time spent on “The Sound of Music” and Mozart Balls, and to have missed out on this.  The idea is, after a heavy meal of sausage and sauerkraut, to finish with a light and airy meringue, shaped in this case like alpine peaks, frosted with some powdered sugar.  

Humble alpine peaks though they may be

It’s nothing more than whipped egg whites, with some yolks, lemon zest and a little flour folded in, placed on top a hot custard of cream, butter and jam (lingonberry in this case) baked at high heat for under 10 minutes.  It puffed up nicely, though perhaps more jam was needed underneath.  If the goal was to get higher ‘peaks’, I would have gone with an Italian meringue method, with egg whites stiffened with a boiled sugar syrup to get more stability (the Italians have alps too after all). 

That said, if you’re looking for something that you can whip up in the time it takes to pre-heat an oven, this is hard to beat.  The only catch being, like all souffles, it has to be served and eaten right away, before it collapses on itself.  Easy to whip up after a dinner party while folks are enjoying coffee in the other room, slightly more challenging with two kids running around naked after their evening bath.

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