If you fancy something sweet, a meringue is a lovely treat to have with fruit. For a foolproof method of making really light, fluffy meringues, mix the egg whites with double their weight in sugar and then whisk them over a bowl of hot water. This causes the air inside the bubbles of egg white to expand and makes the meringue light and easy to shape.
With this mixture you can make individual mini meringues or you can make one large one filled with beautiful summer fruit.
A little whipped cream can be eaten by most people who are intolerant of lactose. You can also dribble passion fruit over the meringues to add more summery flavours.
The flowers are wild violets on the featured image and a wild primrose on the photo below. You may just see growing on grassy banks. Otherwise a few rose petals look pretty scattered on meringues.
- 150 g/5 oz egg whites (about 4 large egg whites)
- 300 g/10 oz caster sugar
- 4 passion fruit, halved and insides scooped out
- 100 g/3 ½ oz raspberries
- 200 ml/ 7 fl oz double cream, whipped to a soft peak
- edible flowers to decorate such as daisy, viola, marigold or nasturtium
Preheat oven to 110°C/225°F/gas ¼. Weigh the eggs whites and then weigh exactly double their weight of caster sugar. Place the egg whites and sugar in a heat proof bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the hot water. Using an electric mixer whisk the egg whites until the sugar has dissolved. You can test this by dipping two clean fingers into the mixture and rubbing them together. If you can still feel sugar crystals continue to mix a little longer. Whisk the meringue a little more until it is stiff and glossy. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat taking care to protect your hands with some oven gloves.
Line two baking trays with baking parchment. Add tablespoons of meringue onto the baking parchment leaving plenty of space between each one. Flatten each blob of meringue into an approximate circle measuring about 10 cm/ 4 in across. Put both trays into the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the outside of the meringue is set like a shell on the outside and the meringue remains a little soft inside. Allow the meringue to cool.
Spread a little whipped cream over the base of one meringues and top with the raspberries and the fruit pulp and seeds from the passion fruit. Carefully place the other meringue on top of the fruit. Decorate with clean untreated edible flowers.
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