- Serves: makes 12
- Cook Time:
- Prep Time: plus standing time
- Effort: easy
- 200 g strawberries, hulled
- 50 g light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
For the meringues
- 6 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 340 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tsp cornflour
For the ricotta cream
- 100 ml double cream
- 120 g ricotta cheese
- 20 g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 1 lemon, finely grated zest only
- mint leaves, to decorate
1. For the strawberries: halve or quarter the strawberries, if large. Toss them with the light brown sugar, salt and vinegar in a non-reactive bowl. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes then toss again and leave to macerate for about 2 hours.
2. For the meringues: preheat the oven to 140C/120C fan/Gas 1 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Tip the egg whites into the large bowl of an electric mixer and add the salt. Whisk on medium speed until the mixture is foamy and resembles soft peaks. Turn the speed up and start adding the caster sugar a spoonful at a time, beating for 3-4 seconds between each addition.
4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the vinegar and cornflour to give a smooth and glossy meringue. Fill a piping bag and squeeze out the shape that you prefer on the parchment paper hearts or circles giving each meringue a rim. Pipe small rosettes or curls around the sides.
5. Bake immediately for 1 hour or until crisp, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.
6. For the ricotta cream: in a mixing bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks then gently fold it into the ricotta. Sift the icing sugar and slowly fold it into the cream-ricotta mix along with the lemon zest.
7. Pass the strawberries through a sieve and when the meringues have completely cooled, fill them with the lemon ricotta cream and arrange the strawberries on top. Decorate with mint leaves and a dusting of icing sugar.
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