Chewy strawberry meringue - dairy-free




This possibly the world's best meringue.. the kind with that marshmallowy and chewy centre and crumbly outside. The real secret ingredient, however, is the elderflower vinegar, which lends a extra special dimension to the flavour (recipe below - if you'd like to make some, you might just find a few elderflowers still around or just use cider vinegar instead). This is suitable for both gluten-free and/or dairy-free diets.

Serves 6-8

For the meringue
6 egg whites
200g caster sugar
100g soft light brown sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp elderflower vinegar

For the topping
300ml coconut yogurt (or whipped cream if you can have dairy)
400g fresh strawberries, leaves removed

Preheat the oven to 140C. Line a baking sheet with silicone-impregnated baking parchment.
Whisk the egg whites until very stiff - you'll know you're at the right point if the whites don't slide around if you tip the bowl to the side. Gradually whisk in the caster sugar and light brown sugar to form a dense meringue.
In a cup, stir together the cornflour and vinegar until smooth. Now transfer the meringue mixture to a the baking sheet, using a spatula to smooth and shape it into a large circle. Bake for 1.5 hours until browned. Allow to cool on the baking sheet, then carefully peel off the baking paper and transfer to a large serving plate.
Just before serving, spread the yogurt over the meringue and top with the strawberries.

Elderflower vinegar
300ml white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
About 20 elderflower heads

Place the elderflower heads in a jar and pour vinegar over the top. Seal the jar, then leave for 10 days. After that time our the vinegar through a funnel lined with filter paper or piece of kitchen paper towel into a bottle. The vinegar will keep for up to a year in a cupboard.

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