strawberry and hazelnut meringues

strawberry and hazelnut meringues
I wanted to make Eton Mess (a traditional British pudding of crushed meringues, strawberries and cream), and decided to follow Sarah Raven’s recipe for basil, raspberry and hazelnut meringues from Food for Friends and Family, using strawberries rather than her preferred raspberries.They were light and crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Just the way I like them - not bad for a first attempt at meringues!

Looking at the dish, beautifully photographed by Jonathan Buckley, I have no idea how the hell they managed to get perfectly white meringues. I’m guessing either a little Photoshop jiggery pokery was involved or the meringues did not contain any fruit - because as soon as you cook fruited meringues they will become a milky-coffee colour. Despite their less-than perfect colour, they tasted wonderful anyway.

Makes about 10 meringues
Skill level: Medium

vegetable oil, for greasing
4 egg whites
110g granulated sugar
110g caster sugar
a pinch of salt
zest of 1 lemon, grated
200g strawberries, finely chopped
50g hazelnuts, chopped and toasted until golden,
1 x 284ml carton of double cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 110C / Gas Mark ¼.
  2. Lightly rub a little oil over greaseproof paper, then your baking tray. (You cold use pre-prepared baking parchment or silicone instead).
  3. Ensure that you use a large and very clean mixing bowl. If there is any trace of grease on the bowl, your egg whites will not whisk properly.
  4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. They should look a little dry, with no liquid swilling at the bottom of your bowl.
  5. Add the granulated sugar in 3 batches, whisking well in between each addition, until the white becomes stiff again.
  6. Using a metal spoon, lightly fold in the caster sugar, salt, lemon zest, strawberries and the hazelnuts. Use a metal spoon because it is harder to knock the air out of the mix, which happens if you use a wooden spoon.
  7. Put tablespoonfuls of the mixture on to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven for about 2 hours, until crisp but slightly gooey in the middle.
  8. Turn off the oven and leave the oven door open. Leave the meringues to cool.

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