Saturday, July 18, 2009

Strawberry Meringue Nests

One of the first (of many!) strawberry treats we made when we started harvesting our crop were these Meringue Nests with Macerated Strawberries.

I wanted a treat that was pretty simple and let the strawberries scream with their natural sweetness. The only work needed to prepare this is making the nests, which are just egg whites beaten with granulated sugar until the mixture formed stiff peaks. There were a couple additions to help that process along - cream of tartar and a pinch of salt. The cream of tartar helps stabilize the whites as they beat and I find I usually end up with better volume results. That pinch of salt? It helps to cut the sweetness of the meringue itself.

Before you jump in with that though, be sure that your egg whites are at room temperature - also, the bowl and beaters that you will be mixing them with should be very clean and free from any fat. This aids in giving the egg whites the best environment to explode in size.

Once the bright white meringue held firm peaks, we added a dash of vanilla and divided the now-stiff whites into four piles on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper - a silpat would work too). Shaped into nests, with the sides higher than the center, the meringues were then baked until they were dry and firm to the touch. Don't take them out at this point though - turn the oven off and let them sit tight for a while to finish drying out the thicker edges.

To put inside these airy, crisp shells, we hulled and quartered a generous mound of our fresh berries, then tossed them with fragrant vanilla sugar I've had brewing in the pantry. The sugar isn't there so much to sweeten them, but is used more to draw out their juices, creating a thick syrup to glaze them in. This light treat was refreshing, uncomplicated and pure - a perfect way to show off those brilliant summer berries.


  1. Yum--now you are making me wish I had gotten some of the strawberries I kept seeing at the Minneapolis farmers market today! I stuck with veggies today...but I may go back tomorrow for berries :-)


  2. It looks light and delicious! I want some! :)

  3. That is my kind of dessert. You make it look easy! I will definitely try this soon.

  4. Courtney - Get them soon as the season is almost over here!

    Karine - Thanks!

    Martha - That's because it is! I do hope you give it a try.

  5. Looks so tasty! I think I'd eat them all =)

  6. These look delicious! So summery! I must try these with whatever fruits I have, since strawberry season is over for me!

  7. TannyP - Easy to do!

    Avanika - Thanks!

  8. It's snowing here in Wisconsin, looks lovely! Reminds me of my Grandmothers Strawberry Schaum Torte, but minus the Whipped Cream!

  9. Suki - We had snow here as well!