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Raspberry Fool


with meringues

Serves 8

To buy/find

'impossible' meringues:
325g caster sugar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon malt vinegar
60ml boiling water
Note: Makes 80-100 tiny meringues. Substitution: 200g bought meringues

Berry fool:
350g fresh raspberries
50g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
450ml double cream, whipped or 600ml extra-thick, double cream


To prepare/cook
Combine the 5 meringue ingredients, in order, in a heatproof bowl standing in 2.5cm of near-boiling water. Using an electric whisk or rotary beater, whisk continuously until the unpromising-looking mix forms a dense, glossy, stiff meringue which will keep its shape. Remove the bowl from the water. Set some wetted non-stick paper on 2 large oven trays. Wet the surface of these again. Put the meringue into a piping-bag with a 1cm star nozzle. Pipe 80-100 small, neat meringues. Bake at 130-140°C for 1-1¼ hours or until crisp. Take as many as you want to the picnic along with the berries, sugar and cream, in insulated containers. Take a bowl along to the site in which to mash everything together.

To present
Mash the berries and sugar roughly with a fork and trickle this purée into the cream, adding whole or smashed meringues at will. Dust with a little icing sugar and serve in glasses, cups or platefuls.

Reproduced with the kind permission of Clare Ferguson from Portable Feasts, Publ: Jacqui Small, 10.99
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