Blackberries work particularly well because their tartness offsets the sweetness of the meringue, plus the fruit give a nice burst of juice and colour to the experience. If you do not have a piping bag, this recipe is just as delicious with meringues and whipped cream scooped by the spoonful.
4 egg whites
1 cup minus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup whipping cream
2 1/2 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pint fresh blackberries
Preheat the oven to 250°F.
Place about 1 inch of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium.
In a heatproof bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg whites and the sugar, stirring gently to
Place the bowl over the simmering pot of water and gently heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until the
sugar is dissolved (test between your fingers—you shouldn’t feel any sugar granules) and the bowl feels very warm to the touch.
Remove the bowl from the heat and add the cream of tartar and salt. Using the whip attachment or beaters of a handheld mixer, immediately start whipping the mixture on low, increasing the speed as the egg whites begin to froth.
Continue mixing until the meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks, 5 to 8 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, such as Silpat.
Using a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe 2-inch rounds of meringue about half an inch apart.
Place the sheet in the oven on the middle rack and bake until the meringues are set, dry to the touch and come off the parchment easily, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
While the meringues are cooling, whip the cream in a medium bowl until stiff, but not dry, peaks form.
Gently fold in the icing sugar along with the vanilla.
Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
Arrange about 10 meringues in a circle on a platter, with 3 meringues in the centre, and pipe the cream in between and around each meringue in little tufts any way you like.
Sprinkle a few blackberries in the centre as you go.
Continue piping and stacking until you use all the meringues.
Place the remaining fresh berries all around the outside, where the whipped cream is piped, using extra cream as required.
Garnish withextra whipped cream or even sorbet.
Serve with a spoon.
Joanna Notkin is a designer at heart, and food is her passion. With an eye for detail and a love of all things seasonal and local, Joanna approaches food in a way that is delicate and thoughtful. She brings together the flavours of each ingredient while honouring the fact that we truly eat with our eyes.