Summer berry meringues
- Preparation and cooking time
- More effort
Gordon Ramsay gives us a masterclass in meringues – the perfect prepare-ahead pudding
For the meringue nests
For the rippled cream
- STEP 1
Heat oven to 110C/fan 90C/gas ¼. Tip the egg whites and lemon juice into the clean bowl of a food mixer. Whisk until the whites double in volume and hold a peak when the whisk is drawn through them. Keep the whisk running and add the sugar a tbsp at a time, incorporating completely before adding the next. Whisk until all the sugar has been added and the whites are glossy.
- STEP 2
Place a square of baking parchment on a large baking sheet. Pencil nine circles, about 7cm each, onto the parchment. Spoon the meringue into a large piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe concentric rounds to fit each drawn circle, piping two or more rings around the edge to form a nest. Bake for 2 hrs until they are crisp and lift off the paper easily. Leave to cool completely.
- STEP 3
Whisk the crème fraîche until stiff, then fold in the yogurt. Set 2 strawberries and 9 raspberries aside and roughly chop the rest. Tip the chopped berries, mint and ginger into a bowl. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar and use a wooden spoon to mash to a rough purée. Gently fold the berries into the yogurt mix, adding icing sugar to taste.
- STEP 4
To assemble, cut the remaining strawberries into 9 slices and place a slice inside each meringue case. Generously share the rippled cream between the cases, then top with a raspberry and a mint sprig. Dust with a little icing sugar just before serving. ( Meringues keep in an airtight container for 2 days.)
USE WEEK OLD EGG WHITES
Older egg whites are better for whisking than fresh – about a week old is ideal. The older they get, the more they liquefy and become easier to whisk.
LOW TEMP AND SLOW COOKING
The lower the heat the better, so use your oven’s ‘keep warm’ function if it has one. An Aga’s lowest warming oven is ideal for meringues. The lower the heat, the longer the meringues are going to take to cook, so if cooking on a lower heat than stated, they can take up to 8 hours.
All the equipment you use to make meringues must be scrupulously clean, dry and grease-free. Even the slightest smudge of oil on the bowl or pin-drop of egg yolk in the whites will stop them from whisking properly. It’s best to use a metal bowl as plastic retains traces of fatty substances on the surface.