Brilliant summer dessert - or a dessert for whenever you wish it was still summer. I served them for Midsummer's with whipped cream, fresh strawberries and the best strawberry sauce ever. (Just strawberries with white syrup - but I don't know of white syrup is available outside of Sweden, or at least I have no idea what the equivalent would be. Sorry!)
Fresh berries aren't so much in season here any more, but this would be great using some of the preserves I made this summer. (And maybe you made some, too, dear reader?) Or don't use fruit, and go for whipped cream, shaved dark chocolate and caramel. Mmm. I'm thinking of an autumnal version with cinnamony caramelized apple wedges and vanilla custard.
This particular recipe comes from Nigella, and it's really big - I made it in two batches because I had my doubts about beating that much meringue at a time. If you feel more confident, go right ahead. Also, my oven is not big enough. But other than that, this is really easy to make. You can make them at least a day ahead, just keep them in an air-tight jar. Or freeze them, that works too! The meringue nests will be crisp, yet chewy and fluffy.
makes about 18 (but some will inevitably break.)
8 egg whites
pinch of salt
500 g sugar
4 tsp corn flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp white wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 180°C, and line three cookie sheets with parchment paper. Beat the eggwhits with a tiny pinch of salt until they're firm but not stiff. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and beat until you have a wonderful glossy, fluffy meringue. Sprinkle over corn flour, vanilla and vinegar, and gently fold in.
Form little rounds of the batter, about 10 cm across, on the parchment paper. Use the back of a spoon to make them slightly bowl-shaped. (in order to hold more filling, of course.)
Put them in the oven, and lower the heat to 150°C. Bake for 30 minutes, turn off the heat, and bake for 30 minutes more. (At least - an hour or two won't hurt at this stage.) Remove gently from the paper and leave to cool on a rack.