Meringue Mountain with Strawberries
(Makes about 60 single meringues)
- 6 egg whites
- 300g caster sugar
- 200ml cream
- small piece of vanilla pod
- strawberries, blackberries or raspberries
- icing sugar for dusting
1. Whisk egg whites in a totally grease-free copper, china, glass or stainless steel bowl until they are stiff and can stand in peaks on an upturned whisk. Add 2 tablespoons of the measured sugar and whisk in for 30 seconds. Sprinkle over the rest of the sugar and fold it in carefully with a large metal spoon.
2. Fill a piping bag fitted with a plain 'eclair' piping nozzle (the old 1/2" size) and pipe meringue into shapes on 2 trays lined with baking paper; alternatively, shape meringue into blobs with two small spoons.
3. Bake in an oven preheated to 140°C (regular bake), for at least an hour, or until meringues are crisp and will lift off the baking paper without feeling tacky; swap the position of the trays once during cooking.
4. Tap a little hole in the base of each meringue with a skewer and return meringues to the turned-off oven to dry out; leave 1-2 hours if possible, then store airtight.
5. About 1 hour before serving, whip cream lightly, adding the vanilla seeds scraped from the pod. Sandwich meringues together with cream and arrange on a serving plate. Leave for one hour so that the cream can soften the meringue a little. Dust with icing sugar and serve with chosen berries.
Julie's Hint: If you want to make the meringues ahead for Christmas, they will keep well in the freezer, but keep them in a rigid container as they don't freeze solid and are easily smashed.
Prep time - 20 minutes
Cook time - 1 hour 30 minutes