Striped Meringues with Summer Cup Strawbs

At summer time, it’s dangerously easy to fall into the trap of eating fruit for pudding. Those punnets of burstingly fresh, sweet strawberries glisten temptingly at you from market stalls; tempting you to abandon your principles and launch into fruit salads. Be careful, dear reader, remember that fruit is only a pudding when cream, chocolate or alcohol is added.

Or in this case, some rather fetching (even if we do say so ourselves) meringues, a grown-up dash of our favourite Summer Cup from Sipsmith (like Pimm’s, but more refined) and a splodge of decadent mascarpone. We made the stripes on the meringues using gel food colouring painted on the inside of a piping bag, but if you don’t like to use that you could try with fruit purée instead. Guaranteed to bring ‘oohs’ of delight at the end of any picnic.

IMG_1269

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 medium egg whites
  • 100g caster sugar
  • Red gel/paste food colouring (we used Sugarflair)
  • 1 large punnet of British strawberries
  • 1tbsp icing sugar
  • 2tbsp (or more to taste) Summer Cup (e.g. Pimm’s or Sipsmith)
  • 1/2 tup of mascarpone

Method

  1. Make the meringues. This is best done several hours (or even a day) in advance. Preheat the oven to 140°c. Prepare a large baking sheet with greaseproof or silicone paper.
  2. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar, a little at a time, whisking after each addition until you have a lovely sticky, firm meringue.
  3. Prepare a piping bag – for the stripes, paint thick lines of colouring on the inside of the bag, from nozzle to top – this basically works like stripey toothpaste.
  4. Put the meringue into the piping bag and pipe approximately 12 meringues onto the baking sheet.
  5. Pop in the oven for 1 hour. When done, turn off the oven and leave to cool and dry out more in the oven until you are ready to serve.
  6. An hour or two before serving, prepare the Summer Cup Strawberries – wash, and slice. Put in a bowl with the icing sugar and alcohol, cover and pop in the fridge to macerate.
  7. Sandwich the meringues together with mascarpone and serve with the strawberries on the side. Alternatively, layer up in glass bowls for a posh Eton Mess.

Photo 06-07-2013 11 35 06 IMG_1271

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