Delia

Meringues with Summer Fruit

In the summer, soft fruit make the perfect filling for meringues, as their sharp acidity contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of the meringue. 


Serves 8

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book One and Delia's Vegetarian Collection

Meringues with Summer Fruit
Ingredients
For the meringues:
 2 large egg whites
 4 oz (110 g) white caster sugar
For the filling:
 9 oz (250 g) mascarpone
 7 fl oz (200 ml) 8 per cent fat fromage frais
 1 rounded dessertspoon caster sugar
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping:
 1 lb (450 g) of strawberries or raspberries or a mixture of redcurrants, raspberries and strawberries
 a little icing sugar
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C).
Equipment
You will also need a 16 x 12 inch (40 x 30 cm) baking sheet lined with silicone paper (baking parchment).

Method

To make the meringues, place the egg whites in a large bowl and, using an electric hand whisk on a low speed, begin whisking.

Continue for about 2 minutes, until the whites are foamy, then switch the speed to medium and carry on whisking for 1 more minute.

Now turn the speed to high and continue whisking until the egg whites reach the stiff-peak stage. Next, whisk the sugar in on fast speed, a little at a time (about a dessertspoon), until you have a stiff and glossy mixture.

Now all you do is spoon 8 heaped dessertspoons of the mixture on to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly. Then, using the back of the spoon or a small palette knife, hollow out the centres.

Don't worry if they are not all the same shape – random and rocky is how I would describe them.

Next, pop them on the centre shelf of the oven, immediately reduce the heat to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C) and leave them for 30 minutes.

After that, turn the oven off and leave the meringues to dry out in the warmth of the oven until it is completely cold (usually about 4 hours) or overnight. The meringues will store well in a tin or polythene box, and will even freeze extremely well.

To assemble the meringues, whisk the filling ingredients together, spoon equal amounts into each meringue and top with equal amounts of the fruit. Then dust with icing sugar before serving.

Nice made with a sauce of puréed fresh raspberries sweetened with a little icing sugar.

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