Vacherin with Whipped Cream and Mixed Berries
The pursuit of happiness, achieved: Layers of meringue are adorned with raspberries, strawberries, currants, and wild blueberries -- nature's delectable take on the good old red, white, and blue.
- Safflower oil cooking spray
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 4 cups (2 pints) mixed red berries and blueberries
- Red and white currants, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Draw a 9-inch circle onto each of 2 pieces of parchment. Turn over, and line baking sheets with each.
Beat whites with mixer on high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Beat in 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Add remaining 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape down sides of bowl, and continue to beat mixture until whites are very stiff and glossy and sugar is almost dissolved, 7 to 8 minutes. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Divide meringue between baking sheets and spread evenly with a rubber spatula, using circles as a guide. (Small swirls can be made for texture.)
Place baking sheets on separate racks in oven, and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, about 2 hours. Meringues should remain white, become crisp on the outside and bottoms, and should easily lift from the parchment. Turn off heat, and let cool in oven, about 1 1/2 hours.
Beat cream, confectioners' sugar, and remaining teaspoon vanilla until stiff peaks form. Place 1 meringue on a serving platter, and top with half the whipped cream. Smooth evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle half the berries on top of the whipped cream, then place second meringue on top. Smooth remaining whipped cream on top of the center of the meringue. Garnish with remaining berries and currants if desired.