As the days get warmer the options at the farmers market start to increase, and berries are in abundance. I’ve been loving pavlova lately and told myself I’d try meringue when berries were in season. Nothing suits the summer better than a light dessert. I also love the texture of meringue for it’s organic, flowing shape. Really, the opposite experience of making a pie with all the rolling, and cutting of the dough. With meringue you just mix it up and free form it right on the cookie sheet. I make little wells in the middle to hold berry sauce, so when you eat it there is a little sauce for each bite.
Meringue and Blackberry Sauce Recipe
3 egg whites, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
> Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Put egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium to combine, about a minute. Then turn speed up to high and wait for still peaks to form, about 3 minutes.
Turn mixer to medium speed and add sugar one table spoon at a time, sonly, allowing sugar time to dissolve. Once all sugar has been added, gently scrape sides and turn mixer to high. After about 2 minutes you will notice a glossy texture and stiff peaks forming.
Make 6 small, or 1 large pile on a non-stick baking mat, or parchment lined baking sheet. I had to use two baking sheets when I made the 6 small servings because these do spread a little when they cook. Make a well in the middle of each pile for sauce and berries.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes for the small size and about 50 minutes for the large size. You can tell it’s done when there is a little bit of color on top. The texture should be a bit marshmallow-y, but crunchy on the outside.
1 cup black berries, reserve a few berries for decoration
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
1 tablespoon of corn starch
Place berries, water and sugar in a sauce pot, over medium heat. When you see a nice sauce start to form, turn heat up to high, mashing berries to help them break down.
In a small heat proof bowl, remove a table spoon or two or hot sauce and stir in corn start until dissolved. Return cornstarch mixture to pot. Cook for several more minutes until mixture thickens.
If you used a large berry or berry with a a lot of seeds, strain sauce to remove. Black berries have a big white part in the middle, so I strained my sauce.
As of now, this is gluten and dairy free (lactose). You might want to add mint or some whipped cream depending on your flavor combinations. I’ve had this with lemon curd as well, and it’s very good. If you are in a time pinch or not a big time lover of baking, you can heat up some jam or jelly for the sauce, and garnish with berries.
You can make all the parts in advance and assemble before serving. This is a go-to low stress dessert if you are entertaining a large party.