Low and slow roasted fresh strawberries, topped with a crispy on the outside, soft on the inside meringue.
4largeegg whitesat room temperature
1cupsuperfine white sugaraka caster sugar *see notes
1/2tspvanillaor vanilla bean paste
2lbstrawberrieshulled and halved
1/4-1/3cupgranulated white sugarto taste
1tspvanillaor vanilla bean paste
Separate your eggs. Reserve the yolk in the fridge for another use. Set the whites aside to stand for about 45-60 minutes, or until they come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 250F. with rack in the centre of the oven.
Prepare strawberries and place in an 8x8, 9 x 9 or similar sized pan (I've used a 8x9-inch pan here). Sprinkle with 1/4-1/3 cup white sugar and drizzle the vanilla over-top. Toss to combine and coat. Set aside.
Using a little white vinegar on a piece of paper towel, wipe the inside of your mixing bowl and your whisk with vinegar. Let dry.
Process your regular white sugar in a food processor, if necessary, then measure out and set aside.
Add egg whites to your clean bowl. Whisk on medium-low (speed 4 on a Kitchen Aid mixer) speed until egg whites are quite foamy (like a bubble bath!). Increase speed to medium (speed 6) and whisk until soft peaks form. Being adding the white sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating in after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice while adding. Continue adding the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, until it has all been added. Increase speed on the mixer to High (speed 8) and whisk the mixture until it is glossy and stiff, about 3 minutes more. Add the vanilla and whisk in to combine.
Using two large spoons, use one spoon to spoon out a dollop of meringue, then use the other spoon to scoop it off and drop it on top of the strawberries. Repeat until the top of the strawberries is covered with meringue dollops.
Place in preheated 250F. oven and bake for 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 200F. and bake another 30-40 minutes, checking often, until meringues are crispy on the outside and hollow sounding when tapped, but are not browning at all.
Remove from oven. Let side at room temperature until completely cool. The berries will have released a lot of their juices and the liquid will not be thick. Not to worry! You'll use a slotted spoon later to serve it to leave a lot of the liquid behind.
To store, just leave on the counter. Do not refrigerate, or the meringue will weep. If you like, you can loosely lay a piece of plastic wrap over-top once it is completely cool. You don't want to wrap it tightly. Let the air get at it a bit, to keep it crisp. The meringue will stay lovely and crisp for up to 24 hours, though it's best to keep in the 8-12 hour range, for best results.
To serve, use a slotted spoon to spoon the berries and a meringue dollop over some vanilla ice cream or serve in a bowl and top with some lightly sweetened whipped cream.
*You can buy superfine white sugar, often sold in a carton. If you can't find it, you can make your own by running regular white granulated sugar through a food processor. Measure after processing.Be sure to read the “Ingredient and Cook's Notes" included with this recipe’s post, where I share more detailed tips, variations and substitution suggestions for this recipe!