500 gmstrawberries (about 2 punnets), stems removed, halved or quarteredScrapedseeds of ¼ vanilla beanFinelygrated rind and juice of 1 lemon40 mlvodka1½ tbspcaster sugar500 ml (2 cups)thickened cream2 tbspwhite sugarMeringues250 gmeggwhites450 gmcaster sugar40 gm (¼ cup)pure icing sugarFinelygrated rind of 1 lemon
For meringues, preheat oven to 120C. Whisk eggwhite and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until sugar dissolves (5-7 minutes), then transfer to an electric mixer and whisk on medium speed until firm peaks form. Fold in icing sugar and lemon rind, then spoon into grapefruit-sized mounds on baking trays lined with baking paper. Bake until hard on the outside and soft on the inside (30-40 minutes), then cool.
Purée half the strawberries in a blender, add vanilla seeds, lemon rind and juice, vodka and caster sugar. Transfer to a bowl, then add remaining strawberries and refrigerate until chilled (1-2 hours).
Whisk cream and white sugar in a bowl until soft peaks form (4-5 minutes; do not overbeat). Add half the strawberry mixture, crumble over large chunks of meringue, then fold once or twice to just combine. Serve immediately topped with extra strawberry mixture.
This recipe is from the June 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.