If you're in the market for a showstopping dessert this summer, this Rosewater Meringue With Blackberries and Cream is for you. The meringues are gorgeous and not especially difficult to prepare. Streaked with the brilliant syrup of juicy berries, meringues are also an excellent vehicle for showing off any fresh berries you can find — blackberries, raspberries or blueberries.
Part of the fun of making this rosewater meringue is watching a few simple ingredients transform into something else entirely. Egg whites are whipped into a frothy frenzy. Then comes an avalanche of warm sugar. Beaten together, the whole thing thickens until it achieves a glossy, sticky texture akin to marshmallow fluff. It's kitchen magic.
Take this fluff and form clouds on a baking sheet or two. It makes about three big clouds, each one big enough to share. (When I made it, one turned out slightly shaped like a heart.) Feel free to make several small meringues instead, up to about eight, and with as much space between them as you'd allow for cookies to spread out.
After a low and slow bake, the meringue mixture is once again transformed. That smooth layer crisps into a pearlescent, ivory shell. And then, yes, go ahead and crack the top of the meringue with a spoon. Inside, the meringue reveals a fudge-like texture. Whipped cream is spooned generously over the crackled top, then berry sauce is drizzled on top. The result is stunning, and a perfect end to any upcoming summer dinner parties.
Ileana Morales Valentine lives in St. Petersburg with her husband. For more of their kitchen stories, visit her blog, ALittleSaffron.com. Say hello at [email protected]