You may (or may not) have noticed the blog has been completely inactive last week. Shocking, I know, but I have a good excuse. I was away on a week-long holiday in Mexico – a family reunion with my husband’s side of the family who travelled from all over Canada and the US to meet us in Cancun. You really can’t go wrong combining family with sun, sea and unlimited cocktails, can you… More on the holiday on a separate post – I have a few hundred photographs to process first!
What I ought to be doing right now is catching up on work – there’s a lot of emails waiting in my inbox and at least two new books to design… but I really can’t concentrate. I blame jet lag – despite an overnight flight on Saturday and going to bed early last night my brain is complete mush. But I also feel like I won’t be able to work until I publish a new post – I have missed blogging, cooking and photographing food so much it is kind of silly! I sort of wanted to HUG my kitchen when we got home yesterday – I was going around caressing the worktop like a lunatic.
For the meringues
Makes 6-8 large meringues
- Bring the blackberries, sugar and water to the boil in a medium pot and then simmer for 20 minutes. Let the syrup cool, then strain into a sterilised container, pressing on the fruit with the back of a spoon. The syrup will keep in the fridge for several weeks if you don’t use it all.
- Preheat the oven to 125C | 250F. Line a large tray with baking paper.
- Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of your stand mixer (making sure it is spotlessly clean or the meringue will flop). Lightly whisk together until frothy.
- Start whisking at high speed and gradually add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Once all the sugar has been added, continue whisking at high speed until the meringue is glossy, forms stiff peaks and doesn’t feel gritty.
- Add the blackberry syrup and gently ripple it through the meringue.
- Spoon large dollops of the meringue on the prepared tray, spaced slightly apart.
- Lower the oven to 100C | 210F and bake the meringues for at least an hour or until they feel firm and their bases don’t stick to the baking paper.
- Turn the oven off, open the door slightly and leave the meringues in the oven until it is completely cool. Gently peel the meringues off the baking paper.
- Whisk the cream and icing sugar until you have soft peaks. Add the rum and briefly whisk it in.
- Top the meringues with the whipped cream, drizzle with some syrup and top with a few fresh blackberries.
Notes: the syrup and meringues can be prepared in advance. Omit the rum if serving to children – these are pretty potent! Vary the berries to whatever is seasonal – both raspberries and blueberries work well. The syrup can also be used in soft drinks and cocktails.