With tulips in a big vase, fresh mint leaf tea in the pot and strawberries washed in the colander, my little elves, Sarah and Mel, set to work making the meringue.
My mum makes the best meringues ever. Whenever people have a summer party they always ask her to bring the legendary nests. So, I feel it is only about right I learned to make them too! Here goes...
You need just two ingredients. Caster sugar and egg whites. Easy peasy.
4 large egg whites
220g caster sugar
A big bowl
Some elbow grease
Preheat the oven at 300*
First start by separating your egg whites (save the yolks for the best super rich scrambled eggs you'll ever have the following morning). Pop the whites in a big bowl and, using an electric whisk, start to whisk them up on a medium setting. They will start to turn frothy. We want them to turn a glossy white colour and forming stiff peaks. This might take a while so be patient! Next you need to start slowly adding your sugar. A spoon at a time until it is beautifully white and firm. In fact, until you can be foolish enough to do this:
Fool. But they were stiff enough so this time I stayed egg white free.
Next you need to get a large baking tray and spoon your mixture out into a big whispy shape.
Now you need to pop the meringue into the preheated oven heated, on the middle shelf, and immediately reduce the heat to 140*. Leave it in there for 30 minutes. When the time is up, turn off the heat and leave the meringue in the oven to cool down naturally. This is crucial. Don't be tempted to take it out earlier, it'll crack and go soggy. Resist!!
Whilst you're waiting for it to cool, go on a bike ride, sip champagne, pat the dogs, whatever.
Roughly chop your strawberries and keep that cream cool.
The only way to eat this is smashing it up with forks and spoons and diving in head first. Hear it crack and crumble and enjoy the lightest, and fluffiest, meringue to ever hit your tongue. Try not to drool too much...
The perfect recipe to whip up before the end of this glorious bank holiday.