The most classic British summer dessert. Served at almost every summer bbq and even at Wimbledon each year. It's a crowd pleaser and actually easy to make yourself. If you don't know what it is, it's basically crushed meringues with whipped cream and fresh strawberries and it's incredible. Brits make the best desserts no competition (hello sticky toffee pudding). And I wanted to share this with you all because my clients are all obsessed with it!
The generally accepted story of how this dish was made is that a pavlova was squashed by a Labrador at an Eton cricket match in the 1920s and instead of wasting it, they decided to scoop it up in to bowls to serve it anyway. And here we are today!
So let's make it!
4 egg whites
1 cup fine cane sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
That’s literally it!
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F
Whisk your egg whites with an electric whisk on a low- medium speed or you can use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. If you need a work out then feel free to do it the good old fashioned way like I tried to today before giving up and just using my kitchen aid before my arm fell off. Once the egg whites and all frothed and fluffy start adding the fine cane sugar one tablespoon at a time and finally your vanilla extract. Now whisk on high until the egg whites are glossy and form stiff peaks.
Now you are ready to scoop them out and bake them!
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop on the meringues with a metal spoon.
And bake for 1 hour to 1hr 15 mins. Then turn the oven off and leave the meringues to cool with the oven completely, leaving it open a crack.
You can test to see if they are ready by knocking the bottom. If they sound hollow, they’re done!
You can also skip this step completely if you're in a rush and want to throw together a simpler dessert for a summer bbq and buy meringues and crush them up.
For the mascarpone whipped cream you will need:
2 cups organic heavy cream
1 cup Italian mascarpone cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cane sugar
Pinch of flakey sea salt (I learnt this from a pastry chef and it's such an amazing tip and brings out even more flavor)
In a cold bowl of your stand mixer, whip together your mascarpone, heavy cream, pinch of salt (which is a tip to bring out even more flavor), vanilla and sugar on medium speed until the cream thickens and soft peaks form. About 3-5 minutes.
Put the cream away in the fridge until you're ready to assemble your dessert.
Now it's time to slice up your fresh organic strawberries. I would use 1-2 pints depending on how many people you are serving.
I like to sprinkle them with mint sugar which I make myself.
In a blender, blend together 1/2 cup cane sugar with a handful of fresh mint until the sugar turns green and all the mint is incorporated.
Now sprinkle some of this mixture over your sliced strawberries and add over a squeeze of lemon and keep the rest of your sugar in a container in the fridge to use another time because it's so delicious!
Place in the fridge again to let the strawberries macerate for 20-30 minutes.
Now it's time to assemble. I like to use a tall ice cream sundae glass or a tall tumbler glass.
Add in some cream, then strawberries and crushed up pieces of your meringues which you can do by smashing them with a rolling pin in a ziplock bag.
Keep layering each ingredient until it reaches the top of the glass. Usually about 3 times per ingredient depending on the size of the glass.
Top with some meringue and edible flowers, or just a strawberry to decorate and enjoy!