I had every intention of making strawberry shortcake for dinner tonight but, in this heat, I am getting lazier by the minute. That means no cooking and very little work around the house.
At Costco yesterday we picked four artichokes, a box of strawberries and fresh salmon for the grill tonight. Hollandaise sauce to accompany the artichokes is a must in this house and little meringues for dessert with the leftover egg whites are a tradition with the "children" now passed down to the grandkids. It's a great way to con them into eating artichokes at a very young age. "Nany Surprise" for dessert is the code and they bite!
This weekend, with the grandchildren away at another lake with another set of grandparents, I decided instead to make a simple meringue tart filled with the strawberries and served with ice cream. The oven temperature is a low 275 degrees for an hour.
For a hollandaise sauce, remember the eggs must be at room temperature. Once I take them out of the fridge and separate them, the yolks are left in a bowl on top of the counter until the sauce is made. The meringue is made soon after the whites have warmed up and the tart is left in the oven until dinner time.
1 pint fresh strawberries
2 TB sugar
8 leaves mint
Grand Marnier (optional)
3 egg whites room temperature
9 TB sugar
Pinch of salt
Wash and slice strawberries and put them in a bowl. Add sugar and mint, cover and set aside. Once the strawberries have rendered their juice, drain them and transfer the juice to a small saucepan. Boil it down until it is reduced by half. You may have to add some sugar to make it more syrupy. Set aside until ready to use. Place strawberries in the refrigerator.
Beat egg whites and a pinch of salt to a stiff peak. Add sugar gradually.
When the meringue is ready, spread in a circle on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Indent the middle so you can lay strawberries on top.
Bake at 275 for an hour. Turn the oven off and leave tart in the oven until ready to fill.
Bring out of the oven. Let cool for a half hour. With a sharp knife make a circle on the top being careful not to cut all the way to the bottom. Add strawberries, the syrup and some chopped mint on top.
Slice as you would a pie. Serve with vanilla ice cream.