4 large egg whites (generous ½ cup) at room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vinegar (apple cider)
3-4 cups mixed fruits and berries cut into bite-sized pieces: strawberries,
blackberries, kiwifruits, mango, peaches, nectarines
1 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
Crust: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Draw a 10” circle on a parchment sheet. Place on a baking sheet. Wipe clean the bowl and whisk of your electric mixer with vinegar. Place the whites in the bowl. Stir together the sugar and cornstarch (and powdered vanilla). Begin beating the whites at #4 setting, and, when foamy, add a pinch of salt. Turn the machine up to #6 and slowly add ½ of the sugar and starch mixture. Continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining dry ingredients. When whites are firm, add the vinegar and beat another 10 seconds.
Mound the whites in the center of the prepared parchment and spread out the whites within the described circle leaving a distinct depression in the center for the fruit filling. Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for 1-1/2 hours or more, until the meringue is lightly browned but yields a bit to the touch. Carefully release the meringue from the parchment to a rack to cool for 30 minutes before filling.
Assembly: Place the meringue on a serving plate and fill with brightly colored fresh fruit mixture. Serve with whipped cream in a separate bowl. Top each serving with a generous dollop of cream.