This recipe had so many influences. But Regan Daley’s unsung In the Sweet Kitchen and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Fruit Everyday! are the formative ones. It makes sense, I suppose, that a Canadian (Daley) and a Brit (Fearnley-Whittingstall) informed my meringue ways, as we Americans don’t eat much meringue comparatively. Low-and-slow is the way to think about cooking this kind of meringue.
- Preheat oven to 225℉.
- You want your eggs at room temperature. If you forgot to take them out of the refrigerator, simply crack the whites into a heatproof bowl and gently warm over low heat above a burner on the stove. In a standing mixer, whip the eggs, salt and optional cream of tartar over medium speed with the whisk attachment until the whites begin to form soft peaks. Continue whipping, adding the sugar gradually about a tablespoon at a time until the whites are glossy and bendy with firm peaks. It should take about 3 minutes. As I read once, you want them sturdy enough for a whole egg to only sink in about ¼ inch.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a teaspoon, plop spoonfuls of meringue onto the baking sheet. You should wind up with about 22 individual meringue blobs. Bake until the meringues are hard outside and no longer sticky to the touch. It will likely take at least 1½ hours. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside. (They keep at room temperature for a few days, too, provided they’re kept in an airtight container.)
- Beat the cream with an electric mixer until it forms flowing soft peaks. You don’t want to overbeat the cream and have it be too firm. You want to be able to softly coat the meringues pieces with it.
- Set aside half the whipped cream and add half the meringues. Toss gently, then scoop the mix onto a serving platter. Intersperse the fruit and remaining meringues among the cream-meringue mixture. Drizzle the optional syrup on top.
Scott Hocker is a writer, editor, recipe developer, cookbook author, and content and editorial consultant. He is currently the editor in chief of liquor.com and was previously the editor in chief of Tasting Table.