Berry Good Meringue

March 25, 2008 at 10:15 pm | Posted in Dessert | 9 Comments

The first time I saw and tasted this dessert I was a teacher in Santa Barbara. It was over 10 years ago and I still remember it. Yes, it was that good.


So I was delighted when I saw this recipe in Ina Garten‘s Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook. I made it for Easter this year, but think it’s the perfect spring and summer time dessert. Essentially, it’s a huge meringue with whipped cream and berries tossed in a raspberry sauce…my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Berry Good Meringue

For the meringue:

  • 4 egg whites at room temp
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 t vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place a sheet of parchment on a sheet pan. (Do not use a silpat or an airbake sheet, believe me, I’ve tried). You can draw a 9 inch circle if you like, or just eyeball it, like me.

Place the eggs whites and salt in a bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high and slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks.

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift in the cornstarch. Add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in with a rubber spatula. Pile the meringue into the middle of the pan, making a rough disk. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about an hour.

For the sweetened whipped cream:

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Whip the cream in a bowl with a whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla and beat until firm.

For the raspberry sauce:

  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam*
  • 1 Tbsp raspberry extract

Place the raspberries, sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and raspberry extract into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.

*If you are unable to find seedless raspberry jam, that’s fine. Just pour the raspberry sauce over a mesh strainer and it will collect most of the seeds. I’ve done this before and it’s worked just fine.

For the fruit:

  • 1/2 pint fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries

To Assemble:

Combine the fresh berries and 1/2 cup of the raspberry sauce in a bowl and stir to coat. Put the meringue disk onto a plate. Spread the top with sweetened whipped cream. Spoon the berries on top of the whipped cream. Drizzle with raspberry sauce or serve on the side. Serve immediately in large scoops.


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