This Merengón de Fresas is made with egg whites, sugar, vanilla, strawberries, heavy cream, cornstarch and apple cider vinegar.
I am not a big sweet tooth, but I will admit I am a HUGE meringue fan. The first time I tried Merengón de Fresas was when my parents lived in Bogota and I had it as a desert at Andres Carne de Res. I have made the individual French-style meringues in the past and when I tried Colombian Merengón, my heart stopped.
This Merengón de Fresas is pretty much the same thing as a Pavlova but I made mine with sliced strawberries. By mixing granulated sugar in the strawberries and letting it sit, macerated strawberries demonstrate osmosis at work. The sugar causes the strawberries to extract its water out of the fruit.
It took me a while to have the guts to make this. Although I have made tons of meringues in the past I found this recipe intimidating. Let me tell you that it is easy, as long as you follow the instructions!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
With a mixer, whisk the egg whites until a soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add half of the sugar and beat for 1 minutes and then the rest of it and beat for another minutes. Continue on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 more minutes. The peaks should be stiff enough that you can hold the whisk upright and the peaks wont move. Add the vanilla, cornstarch and the vinegar and keep mixing for another 30 seconds.
Spread half of the mixture onto a baking sheet into an 8 inch circle. Make sure the middle of it is thinner than the edges, as the edges cook a lot faster.
Place the baking sheets in the oven and when you close the door, lower the heat to 200 degrees F. Bake for an hour and 30 minutes.
Turn the oven off and let the merengón cool inside the oven. This is important! Do not take it out or it will break apart. The cooling time can take up to 2 hours, so make sure you make this with enough time.
While the pavlova is cooling, make the filling. Place the strawberries in a bowl and toss the granulated sugar in it. Stir and let it sit room temperate for at least 10 minutes, then refrigerate for an hour. Separately in a mixing bowl, place the heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a mixer and whisk until fluffy – this is your whipped cream!
To assemble, spread half of the whipping cream onto one of the meringues. Top with some of the strawberries. The sugar makes the strawberries extract water. Place the second meringue on top of the meringue with the whipping cream. Add the rest of the whipping cream on top of the meringue and top with the rest of the strawberries.Print