If you took a look at the Dessert Travel Guide for Cuenca, Ecuador you’ll have seen that Michelle mentioned a traditional dessert called espumilla. Here’s what Michelle said about it:
You’ll see these being sold on the corners of the plaza or outside of churches. They look like ice cream that never melts, but don’t be fooled! It’s actually a soft meringue served in a cone. Guayaba (guava) and mora (blackberry) are the most popular flavors.
With the recipe below, you can bring a little taste of Ecuador into your home kitchen!
I’ve made espumilla a few times now and it’s a deliciously light dessert that only takes a few minutes to make. See the recipe below, as well as this short video that shows you how espumilla is traditionally made and served in Ecuador!
How to Make Mango Espumilla Ecuadorian Meringue Cream Dessert
The first couple times I made espumilla it tasted great but didn’t look like the photos I’d found online.
And I was a little concerned about eating raw egg whites (even though, from what I’ve read, they don’t really pose that much danger for otherwise healthy individuals). So I experimented and figured out how to solve both problems!
If you’d like a thicker “ice cream look” and cooked egg whites, here’s what you do:
- Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water in a sauce pan and heat to 240 F.
- Beat 2-3 egg whites and the fruit juice or puree to stiff peaks.
- Slowly pour the hot sugar water into the egg whites. Keep the mixer going as you do this. Mix on high until thick.
- Serve in a cone or a dish with sprinkles and/or any remaining fruit juice.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the results of both methods:
On the left is the result of the recipe below (mango flavor). On the right is the result of the recipe above (lemon). The left came out lighter and deflated quicker, the right came out denser and stayed fluffy longer. The one on the right would work the best if you want to serve it in an ice cream cone but try them both and see which you like better!
A light and fluffy fruit-flavored meringue cream dessert that's a traditional favorite in Ecuador!
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup fruit (fresh or frozen)
- 3/4 - 1 cup sugar
Chop and then mash the fruit until it's pureed. I used a potato masher but you can also use a food processor. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Push mixture through a sieve.
Beat egg whites and fruit puree in a stand mixer to stiff peaks. This may take several minutes.
Serve immediately in an ice cream cone or bowl. Top with sprinkles and a bit of left-over fruit juice. Enjoy!
- I couldn't find any guava so I used mango (and later tried raspberry and lemon). All were delicious!
- My espumilla didn't look quite like the photos I found online. After some research, it seems that gelatin is often added to the espumilla sold in Ecuador to give it that why-is-it-not-melting ice cream look. UPDATE - see above!
- This dessert is made with raw egg whites, which might be a concern to you. I tried making it with pasteurized liquid egg whites but it didn't whip up very well (gelatin might help?). I also tried making meringue where the egg whites are cooked before whipping into a meringue, but that didn't turn out very well, either. So, I recommend using fresh eggs, washing the eggs before cracking, and following other guidelines outlined here. UPDATE - see above!
- I'm going to experiment with this recipe a bit more and will post updates! If you've figured out how to achieve the ice cream look at home, let me know how you did it! 🙂 UPDATE - see above!
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