Meringues are so beautiful in their own right that they require little adornment. Perhaps a dollop of cream. Certainly a tumble of seasonal fruit. Hence the popularity of the classic pavlova. And while we love a pav as much as (or possibly more than) the next person, it hasn’t stopped our heads being turned by the towering vacherin. Named after the cheese whose colour and shape it resembles, it consists, classically, of meringue filled with cream or ice-cream or both. History tells us that the word “meringue” first appeared in print in 1691, in a French cookbook, and, according to The Oxford Companion to Food, made its way into English by 1706.
In this modern version of the vacherin, inspired by a dessert from Sydney’s Bathers’ Pavilion, thin discs of crisp meringue and rounds of tropical fruit sorbet go together to make the perfect final flourish for a summer meal. And while it is fairly involved, the plus side of it is that almost all the preparation can be done in advance – it requires just a little assembling when you are ready to serve it.