Roasted English Strawberry Compote with lavender mallowy Meringue.
Roasted Strawberries sprinkled with a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar, (or dark if that what you have) to give a sharp note of ying to the super sweet yang of Strawberries with a soft pillowy floating island of meringue with a hint of Lavender.
First the tough part of the process……
Taste the strawberries to see how ripe and sweet they are and adjust the levels suggested to suit.
Generally I roast 500 gm to 2 dessert spoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of balsamic.
For the Compote:
500g Ripe English Strawberries
2-3 tablespoons of sugar, I used golden caster ( for the strawberries )
2 tablespoons of white caster sugar ( for the meringue)
1 tablespoon of lavender sugar ( see here ) for the meringue
1 tablespoon of White Balsamic Vinegar. Others work too. Try a fruit vinegar, just use less and keep tasting and adding as desired.
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar to top the meringues.
3 Egg whites ( 2 if they are very large eggs )
Suggest: Place your serving glass onto a piece of parchment paper and draw around as a guide for the size of the meringue.
Set your oven on to medium about 180 degrees.
Wash, hull and cut the strawberries in half and place in a flat oven proof dish, sprinkle with a little sugar to start the maceration process, add the balsamic and gently swirl the dish to incorporate. Cover and leave for about 10 minutes before placing in the oven.
Roast the strawberries for 10-15 minutes , this will depend on how ripe they are. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature. Once cooled taste again and adjust the sweet and sharp notes if necessary. Place the compote into serving glasses. The compote works well over ice cream and can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen in ice-cube bags/trays.
For the meringue:
In a scrupulously clean bowl, and with an electric mixer, whisk 2-3 room temperature egg whites to form soft peaks. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of white caster sugar and 1 of lavender sugar and whisk to firm peak stage.
Turn the paper over and with a metal spoon, place rough cast mounds of the meringue mix onto the parchment circles, using your cartoon as a guide.
Bake in the 180 degree oven for any thing between 3, 5 or 8 minutes until light golden peaks form but the meringue is lightly cooked, soft and mallowy.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the meringues with crunchy granulated sugar.
Place on top of the compote and serve with a sprig of lavender if in season.