Image: Maya Visnyei | Food Styling: Claire Stubbs | Prop Styling: Ann Marie Favot
Light and sweet, this berrylicious dessert made of airy meringue and syrupy strawberries tastes so good even your savoury-toothed guests will come back for seconds.
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 cup 35% cream
- 2 oz crème fraîche
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1 Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, beating well until the mixture is glossy and stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add the cornstarch and vinegar; whisk to blend.
2 Place a piece of parchment paper on a large baking sheet; scoop the meringue mixture onto the parchment and shape it into a 9" round nest with slightly higher sides and a sloping divot in the centre. Reduce the oven heat to 250°F and place the baking sheet with the meringue on the middle rack; bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven with the door closed (this will take about 2 hours).
3 Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the strawberries and icing sugar; let the mixture sit until the liquid reaches a syrupy consistency. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks. Stir in the crème fraîche and vanilla; whisk to combine. Dollop the cream into the centre of the cooled meringue and top with the strawberries and syrup. Dust lightly with icing sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.
Tip: Be sure that absolutely no egg yolk makes its way into your egg whites, as it won’t allow the meringue to reach the right consistency.