A heavenly low-fat dessert of fresh strawberries on a cloud of meringue paired with strawberry ice cream or sorbet.
2 cups egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar
2 1⁄2 lb. plus 2 tbsp. ultra-fine baker’s sugar
4 vanilla beans
1⁄4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
3⁄4 tsp. salt
3⁄4 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 1⁄2 cups olive or pistachio oil
3 qt. strawberry ice cream or sorbet
4 1⁄2 lb. California strawberries, stemmed and sliced
6 oz. shelled pistachio nuts
- In a mixer bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar at medium-high speed until very stiff peaks form.
- With mixer at high speed, gradually add sugar, beating constantly. Meringue should be stiff and billowy. Slit vanilla beans, scrape out seeds, and beat seeds into meringue.
- Spoon 24 (1⁄2-cup) meringue mounds, each about 4-in. in diameter, onto parchment-lined sheet pan, making a shallow depression in each using the back of a spoon.
- Bake at 275ºF for 1 1⁄2 hr., or until ivory colored and dry. Cool on a rack.
- For vinaigrette: Whisk vinegar with sugar, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Whisk in oil. Makes 1 3⁄4 cups.
- For each serving, place one meringue on plate. Scoop 1⁄2 cup ice cream or sorbet into depression and cover with 1⁄2 cup strawberries. Drizzle 1 tbsp. vinaigrette over strawberries. Scatter 1 tbsp. pistachios over and around meringue.