These Meringue Nests with Berries and Vanilla Cream make the perfect light-tasting summer dessert that’s gluten-free and packed with fresh fruit!
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I don’t know about you but fresh berry season is my favourite time of year. There’s almost nothing better than bringing home fresh berries from the market, washing the dirt off them and using them right away in your favourite summer dessert recipe while they’re fresh and ripe and almost as sweet as candy. These Meringue Nests with Berries and Vanilla Cream are one of our favourite ways to enjoy fresh summer berries right now!
If you’ve never made meringue before these Meringue Nests with Berries and Vanilla Cream are a great recipe to start with – only a few basic ingredients and supplies are required to make the meringue:
- egg whites at room temperature
- cream of tartar
- a clean, dry bowl
- a good stand mixer or hand mixer
- a piping bag
- a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Want more dessert recipes? Make these Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake Trifles with Fresh Berries, or try this recipe for Vanilla Bean Custard Fruit Tarts with Honey Glazed Fruit.
Tips for making no-fail meringue:
- Make sure your bowl is extra clean and dry. Any leftover oils in the bowl from previous recipes or even from oily dish soap will prevent the egg whites from getting to full volume and it can cause your meringue to collapse while baking. Be sure your bowl is perfectly clean and dry!
- Add the sugar slowly. Wait until the egg whites have whipped to a nice foamy texture before adding the sugar slowly in a steady stream. Any harsh movements will deflate the air bubbles you’re working so hard to put into the meringue to give it structure as it bakes.
- Don’t underbake or overbake (Be patient!). Nobody likes a browned, burnt or collapsed meringue – bake at a low temperature for a long period of time so the meringues can dry out sufficiently, and don’t let them become brown…this will cause them to taste burnt!
- Be creative! Once your meringues are baked and cooled completely, fill them with whipped cream or whipped topping and top with the fruit of your choice – we love berries, but almost any fruit works!
Want more dessert recipes? Make a Lemon Raspberry Glazed Bundt Cake, or try this recipe for No Fail Homemade Angel Food Cake.
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I hope you enjoy these Meringue Nests with Berries and Vanilla Cream as much as we do! Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite summer dessert featuring fresh berries? I’d love to know!
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Meringue Nests with Berries and Vanilla Cream
These Meringue Nests with Berries and Vanilla Cream make the perfect light-tasting summer dessert that's gluten-free and packed with fresh fruit!
- 4 egg whites at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream (or use 2 to 2 1/2 cups whipped topping)
- 2 teaspoons powdered sugar (leave out if using whipped topping)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries washed and dried
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Turn the parchment paper over and trace 6-8 small circles with a dark permanent marker, spaced evenly and apart from one another. Turn the parchment paper back over again so you can see the circles through the paper, but the ink won't transfer to the meringues. Set aside.
In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the room temperature egg whites on medium speed until foamy (about 2-3 minutes).
Once foamy, add the cream of tartar and continue whipping on medium high speed.
Add the sugar slowly in a steady stream while the egg whites continue whipping and begin to turn white and glossy. Adding the sugar slowly ensures that the egg white mixture stays fluffy and light (dumping the sugar in all at one would crush the air out of the egg white mixture).
Whip on high speed until the mixture reaches stiff peaks. You'll know the peaks are stiff when you remove the beater attachment, turn it upside down, and the meringue mixture stands almost straight up.
Add the meringue mixture to a piping bag with a large round opening.
Pipe the meringues onto the prepared baking sheet starting in the middle of the circle and piping around until you reach the outside of the circle. Then pipe one more layer just around the outside of the circle, to create the "nest" effect.
Bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until the meringues appear dry on the outside and inside of the nests, but haven't browned at all on the bottom or sides.
Let the meringues cool completely to room temperature on the baking sheets.
In the meantime, whip the whipping cream and add the sugar as it whips to soft by slightly stiff peaks.
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them into the cream as it whips.
Dollop a portion of the cream into each of the meringue nests after they have cooled completely.
Top with the fresh berries and serve immediately.
To make ahead of time, prepare the meringues and store under a light kitchen towel for up to 18 hours ahead of serving. Assemble with whipped cream and fruit directly before serving.