Fresh Fruit Meringue

Fresh summer fruits and berries are a dessert maker’s delight.  Cool, colorful and light they are the perfect compliment to any warm weather meal without doing a thing to them.  But with a minimal amount of work they can also become a stunning offering of charm and elegance to send a meal over the top. What I am describing is a Pavlova-like cream filled meringue that showcases a few choice favorite fruits as a breathtaking jewel of a dessert, a striking finale to any lunch or dinner that can take the meal from ordinary to sublime.

Fresh Fruit Meringue
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Fresh Fruit Meringue



  1. Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 275°.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Pour the vanilla and vinegar (if using) into a small cup.
  4. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.
  5. In a large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites, cream of tartar (if using) and salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks/ trails start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Increase speed to medium-high, slowly and gradually sprinkling in the sugar-cornstarch mixture.
  7. A few minutes after these dry ingredients are added, slowly pour in the vanilla and vinegar (if you didn’t use cream of tartar.)
  8. Increase speed a bit and whip until meringue is glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes.
  9. Pipe or spoon the meringue into rounds that are 3 inches wide on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon liner.
  10. With the back of a spoon, create an indentation in the middle of the mound for holding the filling once meringue is baked.
  11. Place baking sheet in the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 250° Fahrenheit.
  12. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until the meringues are crisp, dry to the touch on the outside, and white—not tan colored or cracked. (The interiors should have a marshmallow-like consistency.)
  13. Check on meringues during the baking time.
  14. If they appear to be taking on color or cracking, reduce temperature 25 degrees, and turn pan around.
  15. Gently lift from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.
  16. Will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature, or individually wrapped, for up to a week if your house is not humid.
  17. Serve topped with whipped cream and crushed or whole berries and your choice of assorted fruits.