- 400g strawberries, hulled then halved or quartered (save a few whole with stalks on, to serve)
- 400g cherries, halved and pitted (save a few whole with stalks on, to serve)
One of the delights of the summer, cherries are much loved for their succulent texture, flavour…
- 50g icing sugar, plus 1 tbsp
- 600ml pot double cream
- 50ml Amaretto
- ½ tsp almond extract
For the meringues
Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1 and cut 3 pieces of baking parchment to fit 3 baking sheets for the meringues (if you don’t have 3 baking sheets, you can cook it in batches – simply divide the meringue mixture into 3 and cook separately). Using a plate or the base of a cake tin, draw a 20cm circle on each piece of parchment, then flip over so that the pencil side is facing down. Put 3 oven racks in your oven – if you only have 2 but have a large grill pan, this will work too, sat in the bottom of the oven.
Put the egg whites in a large bowl, and whisk with an electric hand whisk until thick and holding soft peaks. Start adding the sugar, 1 or 2 tbsp at a time, whisking continuously. When all the sugar has been incorporated, the meringue should be thick, glossy and holding stiff peaks. Add the vinegar and whisk again briefly. Use a blob of meringue to stick down the corners of each piece of parchment to the trays. Divide the meringue between the 3 circles on the parchment, swirling it towards the outline to make thin circles. Scatter the almonds over, saving a few to serve on top once assembled. Bake for 1 hr, then leave to cool in the oven.
When the oven is completely cold, remove the meringues and place somewhere cool and dry for up to 24 hrs, or assemble straight away. Toss the fruit with 1 tbsp icing sugar and set aside to macerate for 10-15 mins. Pour the cream, amaretto, almond extract and remaining icing sugar into a large bowl, and whisk until softly whipped. Use a little of the cream to stick your least successful meringue to a cake stand or plate. Spread over a third of the cream and scatter with some strawberries and cherries. Top with the remaining meringues, cream and fruit, finishing the top layer with the whole strawberries and cherries. Scatter over the remaining almonds and serve. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 1 day.