In Australia this meringue shell with a crisp outside and marshmallowy inside is traditionally filled with kiwi fruit and whipped cream. You could also fill the shell with fresh fruit and whipped cream, chocolate pudding, lemon pie filling or ice cream and drizzle it with chocolate.
6 egg whites
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 quart, hulled, cut up strawberries
6 skinned, sliced kiwi
1 cup drained mandarin orages
1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
Sweetner to taste
1. Beat room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until sugar is dissolved* and whites are glossy and stand in stiff peaks.
2. Beat in vanilla. On waxed paper-cover baking sheet, spread about 1/3 of meringue in 2 circles, each about 8" in diameter. Using remaining meringue, form sides around each circle with back of a spoon or pastry tube, building a rim on each circle about 1 1/2 inches high.
3. Bake in preheated 250 degree oven with door closed for 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool completely. Fill each shell with about 2 to 3 cups of desired filling (for above recipe, fold sliced fruit into whipped cream and sweeten to taste). Makes 12 servings.
*Rub a bit of meringue between fingers-if it feels gritty, beat some more.
TIP: Use vey fresh eggs for making meringues. Meringues depend on the carbon dioxide in a freshly laid egg for the higest volume. Older eggs are better used for hard cooking (for egg salads and deviled eggs and snacks).
TIP: Egg whites and yolks separate better when cold, but whip to a greater volume when at room temperature. Place the bowl of egg whites in a larger bowl of hot water for five minutes to bring them to room temperature quickly. Also, use an egg separator for good food safety.