4 large egg whites at room temperature
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup superfine sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
For the meringue: Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
1-Trace a 7- or 8-inch circle (a salad plate works well) on a piece of parchment paper, and trim a couple inches around the paper. Place the paper, marked side down, on a baking sheet.
2-Put egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla in the bowl of stand-up mixer and with the whip attachment beat on medium speed until the mixture holds soft peaks. (If you only have a hand-held mixer, that works fine as well.)
3-Increase the speed to medium high and start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and mix until the meringue holds stiff peaks. The meringue should feel smooth. If the sugar still has a gritty feel, beat a little longer until it dissolves, but be careful not to overbeat.
4-Spread the meringue on the parchment paper to the edge of the circle with a spatula or spoon, making a gentle indentation in the middle to hold the whipped cream and fruit. Bake for 1½ to 2 hours, until the tip of a paring knife stuck in the center comes out only a little bit sticky (it will crisp up as it cools). Turn the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven to cool and harden for a few hours.
5-If serving immediately, carefully remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the meringue and place on serving platter. Proceed with making whipped cream. Once you assemble the meringue cake with whipped cream and fruit, it should be eaten immediately.
6-If saving for later use, leave the parchment paper in place and put meringue in a tightly sealed container between layers of waxed paper. If the meringue loses its crispness, reheat it in a preheated 250-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
For the topping: Place heavy cream in clean bowl of mixer and beat with whip attachment on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix until blended.
Spoon mounds of whipped cream in the center of the cake. Place fruit decoratively on the whipped cream and around the edge of the platter. Once you assemble the meringue cake with whipped cream and fruit, it should be eaten immediately, as the cream will eventually make the meringue soggy.
Pairs Well With
"Cake of the Month" recipe from the local newspaper (Democrat & Chronicle) in Rochester, N.Y.