Raymond Blanc likes his meringue "huge and misshapen, with a pale gold hue, bubbles of caramel oozing out, pearling into crystal formations."
150g/5oz strawberries, preferably Mara de Bois or Marshmello variety, tops removed, cut in half
150g/5oz raspberries, preferably Glen Doll, Glen Ample or Autumn Bliss variety
150g/5oz blackberries, preferably Loch Ness variet
25g/1oz redcurrants (optional)
25g/1oz blackcurrants (optional)
4 tsp caster sugar, plus extra, to taste
squeeze lemon juice
good-quality vanilla ice cream
For the meringue, heat the oven to 120C/250F/Gas ½.
Using a hand whisk or electric mixer, whisk the egg whites with the lemon juice or cream of tartar on full power for one minute, or until the egg whites form soft peaks. (The lemon juice or cream of tartar will stabilise the foam.)
Add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition, then whisk for a further three minutes, or until the mixture is glossy and stiff – do not over-whisk or it will start to lose its volume.
Using a spatula, fold in the icing sugar a little at a time.
Drop four large dollops of the mixture onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Dust the meringues with a little icing sugar and bake in the oven for about two hours. If you prefer your meringues a pure white colour, cook for three hours at 100C/210F/Gas ¼.
Meanwhile, for the fruits, mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and leave to macerate for about 30 minutes. (You may need to adjust the amount of sugar, depending on the ripeness of the fruit.)
For the coulis, purée the raspberries with the sugar in a food processor or blender and pass through a fine sieve.
When the meringues are cooked, leave to cool for 30 minutes. (You may like to cut a meringue lid 5cm/2in in diameter with a sharp serrated knife and carefully remove the soft meringue inside with a small spoon. )
Spoon the macerated fruits and their juices on top of the meringue, garnish with the coulis and serve with vanilla ice cream.
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