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Meringue-Topped Cherry Dessert (D/P, TNT)
Source: Adapted from Pillsbury's "Best of the Bake-Off Collection"
Serves: 10

1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup soft margarine (part low-cal works okay)
2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar, plus
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon milk, or other suitable liquid (I use water or soy milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, or almond extract
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, divided
1 can cherry pie filling
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Sift or mix flour, baking powder, and salt together.

Cream margarine and sugar; beat in egg yolks, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and milk (or other liquid).

Add dry ingredients all at once and mix until well blended. Put into a greased or sprayed 9" round cake pan.

Sprinkle with nuts, reserving 2 tablespoons.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 350°F. Cool.

Beat egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until stiff. Beat in 1/2 tsp. vanilla.

Transfer the cookie base to a baking sheet. Drop meringue by tablespoons around the edge on top of the circle. Sprinkle with reserved nuts.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 350°F. Cool. Dessert may be frozen at this point.

Before serving, fill center with cherry pie filling to which almond extract has been added.

Poster's Notes:
I have made this many times in the past, and it is always a hit--very impressive looking. You can use other pie fillings or even chocolate mousse for the filling.

Posted by Annice Grinberg, Z'L

Nutritional Info Per Serving:266 Calories; 11g Fat (36.3% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 40g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 38mg Cholesterol; 176mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 Fat; 1-1/2 Other Carbohydrates.