Strawberries and balsamic is a flavour combo I wish I tried sooner! The mix may not be to everyone’s taste but when the balance is right it will please all sweet-sour lovers. Making meringue nests is no difficult task but it sure does take time and you can’t rush the mixing or the baking – so trust me, this recipe is well worth it!
Roasted Strawberry Pavlovas
for the meringue nests
- 4 medium egg whites
- 200g caster sugar
for the roasted strawberries
- 400g fresh strawberries (each no longer than 5cm long), hulled and halved
- 50g honey
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 400ml double cream
Make the meringue nests: preheat the oven to 120°C (110°C fan)/250°F/gas mark ¼, and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer (hand-held or freestanding) until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar, a teaspoon at a time, mixing well between each addition. Ensure the sugar is dissolved in the egg white before adding the next spoonful. The meringue is ready when it is thick, glossy and the bowl can be upturned without it falling out. Wipe down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat the meringue once more to dissolve any sugar that was on the sides of the bowl.
Spoon the meringue into four even mounds on the lined baking tray, each 10-12cm in diameter and well spaced. Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour and a half. The meringues are ready when they are firm to the touch (not gooey inside) and maybe lightly browned. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Make the roasted strawberries: preheat the oven to 170°C (160°C fan)/325°F/gas mark 3 and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Arrange the strawberry halves on the lined baking tray, cut side up, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the strawberries whilst they are cooking and if they start to go dark brown remove them from the oven.
Combine the honey and balsamic vinegar in a bowl then add the strawberries. Mix together with a wooden spoon, ensuring the strawberries are well coated in the syrup. Cover and leave to macerate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Assemble the pavlovas: whip the cream until it just holds its shape then divide between the cooled meringue nests, spreading to cover the top. Spoon over a portion of the strawberries onto each and drizzle over some of the syrup. Serve immediately.