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This is basically the Delia Smith recipe for meringue nests, but I have just made a single meringue base instead of lots of little nests. A nest for a big bird, perhaps.

The joy of meringue is that, apart from being delicious, you can make it a week in advance if you’re short of time. But put the filling in no more than half an hour before you are ready to eat, or the meringue will go soggy. We had this with good friends, and they were more than happy for me (and the children) to assemble it at the dinner table, after a wonderfully long Sunday lunch.

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 110g caster sugar

Set the oven to 150C.

Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until the egg whites reach the stiff-peak stage. Next, whisk the sugar in on fast speed, a little at a time (about a tablespoon), until you have a stiff and glossy mixture.

Spoon the mixture on to a prepared baking sheet then hollow out the centre to create your nest.

Put it on the centre shelf of the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 140C. Leave it for 30 minutes.

After that, turn the oven off and leave the meringue to dry out in the warmth of the oven until it is completely cold (usually about 4 hours, or overnight).

Whipped cream, strawberries and raspberries make a perfect filling.

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