Sunday, February 20, 2011
It is said that the "Nockerl" was invented by Salome Alt, the concubine of Salzburg's Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raintenau in the early 17th century. It is supposed to resemble the mountains of Salzburg.
We were in Austria in 1991. The Trout found a guide who took him fly fishing in a most beautiful area of the country. Unfortunately, the time was short as the mountain snows started melting in the late morning and the blue colored water washed down the mountain and into the streams and the fishing was over.
It was also before I realized that my paternal grandmother's ancestors came from an area of Austria called Spittal. We were there. But, it was many years later before I realized that my ancestors had also been there. Such a missed opportunity. I do remember the beautiful landscapes, the mountains, the food. We must go back. We must.
While in Austria, we dined beautifully on the typical food of the area. This dessert, Salzburger Nockerl has always lingered on my mind. I made it many years ago, shortly after returning from Austria, but it wasn't until this week that I remembered it. All the ingredients were in the kitchen. It just had to be.
You will find that this is a rather simple dessert, not too difficult to put together, but it does need to be served immediately after coming out of the oven. It is light, very flavorful and puts on quite a show by itself.
serves 2 persons
6 egg whites (room temperature)
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 whole lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For a 10 inch oval skillet
1 oz. butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
Heat oven to 450 degrees
Instead of a skillet, I heated the butter, cream and raspberry jam in the microwave. Then spread it into the bottom of a casserole dish.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar while the mixer is running. Then add the vanilla extract.
Remove the mixing bowl and fold in by hand with a wire whisk the egg yolks, flour and lemon zest. Mix as little as possible.
With spatula, form four individual peaks, one at a time (the mountains of Austria) and place into the casserole with the raspberry mixture.
Bake in a hot oven, 450 degrees for 9 to 10 minutes. Nockerl should be soft in the center and browned on the top.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve at once.