Prepare ahead / freeze (pastry case only)
Preparation time 40 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour 15 minutes
4 large, free-range egg whites, yolks reserved 225g (8oz) caster sugar 375g (13oz) shortcrust pastry 3tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract 800g (1lb 12oz) fromage frais
700g (1lb 9oz) strawberries, hulled and quartered
you will need
25.5cm (10in) fluted tart tin, with removable base
1 Heat the oven to 130 C, 110 C fan, 250 F, gas ½, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment. In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the sugar, 1tbsp at a time, whisking the mixture back to stiff peaks after each addition. Once half the sugar has been added, start adding in larger batches.
2 When all the sugar has been added and the mix is stiff and glossy, spoon swirls of meringue about 10cm (4in) wide on to the parchment. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave to cool inside. These will store in an airtight container for up to a week.
3 When the meringues are cool, heat the oven to 200 C, 180 C fan, 400 F, gas 6. Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin and line the tart tin, leaving an overhang. Line with foil, fill with baking beans and blind bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is sand coloured. Turn the oven down to 170 C, 150 C fan, 325 F, gas 3. Trim the overhanging pastry with a serrated knife. Brush the inside of the pastry case with the reserved egg yolk then return to the oven for 5 minutes.
4 Stir the vanilla into the fromage frais. Ten minutes before serving, roughly crush the meringues and stir two-thirds into the fromage frais. Spoon into the tart case and top with the strawberries and remaining meringues.
Per serving 310 calories, 14g fat (6.5g saturated), 41g carbohydrate
The right buy If you’re pushed for time, Marks & Spencer’s meringue nests work well – they’re more mallowy than many ready-made versions.