"Gratin" usually means a dish with a crust of melted cheese on top, but this French culinary term also describes a dish with a topping of heavy cream that's browned under the broiler. Here, meringue takes the place of cream as a topping for a low-fat, fiber-rich (from the pears and dried fruit) dessert.
1/2 cup apple juice
2 cups mixed dried fruit
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups firm-ripe, unpeeled Bartlett pear chunks (1/2 inch)
2 kiwifruit, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 large egg white
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1 Preheat the oven to 475°F. Lightly spray a gratin dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium saucepan, bring the apple juice to a boil over high heat. Add the dried fruit and return to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon, raisins, and lemon juice. Set aside.
2 Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a large bowl. Add the pears and kiwi chunks, and stir gently to combine. Arrange the fruit in the gratin dish and set aside.
3 In a medium bowl, beat the egg white until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff, shiny peaks form.
4 Spoon the meringue decoratively over the center of the fruit, allowing some of the fruit to peek out along the sides. Bake for 2 to 5 minutes, or until meringue is just beginning to brown. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings
good source of: fiber, potassium, vitamin C
In order to have a maximum of browned topping for a gratin (so everyone gets to have some), it's cooked in a shallow layer in a dish designed for the purpose. The so-called gratin dish is traditionally oval and made of porcelain, but there are also gratin dishes that are round or made of glass.
From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for Weight Loss, edited by Lawrence J. Cheskin, M.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.