*"Yum, yum, yum. The vodka is the key here. It brings out an extra little something in the strawberries," says the legendary April Bloomfield of New York City's The Breslin restaurant.
- 500 gm strawberries (about 2 punnets), stems removed, halved or quartered
- Scraped seeds of ¼ vanilla bean
- Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- 40 ml vodka
- 1½ tbsp caster sugar
- 500 ml thickened cream (2 cups)
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 250 gm eggwhites
- 450 gm caster sugar
- 40 gm pure icing sugar (¼ cup)
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1For 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.
- 2Purée 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).
- 3Whisk 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.
Drink Suggestion: Lashings of ginger beer. Drink suggestion by Max Allen