With strawberry season fast approaching, get ahead of the crowd and start planning to whip up these meringues for your summer dinners.
Swirled strawberry meringues
Ingredients for strawberry sauce:
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp water, divided
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp cornstarch
Ingredients for meringues:
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 5 egg whites
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp crushed freeze-dried strawberries (optional)
- To make the sauce, purée the strawberries, sugar, 1 tablespoon water and lemon juice in a blender.
- Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and stir over medium heat until warmed through, about two minutes.
- Whisk the cornstarch in a small bowl with the remaining tablespoon water until smooth; stir into the strawberry mixture. Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl; let cool completely.
- To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the sugar onto a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet; bake just until the sugar begins to turn golden, but not hard or melted, about 8 minutes. Reduce the oven to 200°F.
- Meanwhile, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. With the mixer on high speed, gradually beat in the hot sugar; continue beating on high until the mixture has cooled and is stiff, glossy and very thick, about 10 minutes.
- Beat in the vanilla. Slowly add 3 tablespoons of the strawberry sauce in a steady stream. Stop beating and gently fold the mixture two or three times to create a swirled effect.
- Drop the meringue mixture by generous ½ cup measures onto a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart, to form 8 meringues. Top each meringue with ½ teaspoon of the strawberry sauce and, with a toothpick, swirl the tops to distribute the sauce. Sprinkle with the freeze-dried strawberries (if using).
- Bake until the meringues are crisp and no longer shiny, about 3 hours.
- Without removing the baking sheet, turn off the heat and allow the meringues to cool in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Serve with the remaining strawberry sauce.
- Store the leftover meringues in an airtight container for up to two weeks.