Meringue, strawberries, and orange liqueur. Oh yeah.

The equivalent to this dessert in the US would be strawberry shortcake. The primary difference is we substitute the cake or biscuit with a homemade meringue cookie. Meringue is nothing more than egg whites and sugar that are dried in the oven slowly over a long period of time. What results is a crispy shell that is perfect to fill with macerated strawberries flavored with orange liqueur. The dessert can be made well ahead of time and assembled quickly when it is time to serve.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, whites only
  • 1 lb strawberries, sliced
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 3/4 c tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp Grand Marnier or other orange flavored liqueur
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Place the strawberries in a bowl. Add 2 tbsp sugar and the Grand Marnier to the bowl and stir to combine. You can mash some of the strawberries with a fork for added texture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the egg whites in a bowl. With a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until you get medium-stiff peaks. Then, slowly add 1/2 c + 2 tbsp sugar while mixing the egg whites until glossy and stiff.

3. Place the meringue in a pastry bag and pipe spirals on a silicone mat covered sheet pan. Once you have a spiral, go back over the outer edge and make two more vertical layers. Place the sheet pan in the oven for 3 hours.

Note: If you do not have a pastry bag, you can also drop mounds of meringue onto the sheet pan and use the back of a spoon to make a well in the middle. If you do not have a silicone mat, place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the sheet pan.

4. Take the meringue out of the oven. The cookies will immediately start to do their best imitations of Rice Krispies. If some of the cookies are still soft, don’t worry, they’ll harden quickly. Set on a cooling rack for at least one hour.

5. When ready to serve, place the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and two tbsp sugar in a bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip the cream until it has reached a desired consistency.

5. To serve, place a meringue cookie in the middle of a plate. Spoon some strawberries into the well and place a dollop of whipped cream on the side. Spoon some of the liquid from the strawberries around the cookie. Enjoy.

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