Coconut Pavlovas with Tropical Fruits and Ice Cream
2 cups (1-inch) cubed fresh pineapple
1 cup orange sections
1 cup cubed peeled mango
1/3 cup dried sweet cherries
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white rum
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 egg whites (at room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut, toasted
1 1/2 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream
Mint sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 250°.
Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl; stir well, and set aside. Place parchment paper over a large baking sheet. Draw 6 (4-inch) circles on parchment paper. Turn parchment paper over, and secure with masking tape.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed of a mixer until foamy. Add extract; beat well. Gradually add 2/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold coconut into egg white mixture.
Divide egg white mixture evenly among the 6 drawn circles. Using the back of spoon, shape meringues into nests with 1-inch sides.
Bake at 250° for 1 hour or until dry. Turn oven off, and let meringue nests cool in closed oven at least 4 hours. Carefully remove meringue nests from paper.
Spoon 1/4 cup ice cream into each meringue nest, and top with about 2/3 cup fruit mixture. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.