Royal Meringue



                                                             Happy 4th!

If this recipe wrings a bell, it's probably because I made something similar over the Christmas holidays with a Caramel Meringue. Same cookbook too. And I will repeat what I said then: yes, they unmold with no problem. (I didn't believe it either until I made them the first time.)
I know this presentation looks way too involved, but you can simplify any number of ways. I made it with all the bells and whistles as suggested in the cookbook, but you could simplify by crushing some berries, slice the meringue and serve just with the berries. You don't need to bother with the strawberry dip or the toasted coconut unless you want a splashy presentation. 
(BTW: that strawberry dip would be lovely served by itself, surrounded with fresh berries.)

Royal Meringue
From The Private Collection by the Junior League of Palo Alto





Ingredients:
8 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
2 teaspoons almond flavoring
one 10 1/2 ounce package frozen strawberries. defrosted
1 cup heavy cream
1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
sugar
sprigs of mint

Method:
Preheat oven to 250.
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add sugar, 3 tablespoons at a time beating until meringue stands in stiff peaks. Spoon with great care into a 10 cup ring mold. Press down on each layer to prevent air bubbles.
Place mold in a roasting pan, with 1 inch of warm water. Bake 45 minutes or until meringue is set. Remove from oven, place on a rack to cool completely. It will settle quite a bit. It can sit on the counter all day at room temperature if you wish.

Toast coconut until brown and mix with the almond flavoring. Set aside.
Puree the frozen strawberries (I used fresh, but added a little sugar) Beat the whipping cream and fold in the strawberries. Refrigerate.

To serve: Loosen the meringue by running a knife dipped in cold water around the edge. Turn it out onto a serving plate. Mine always unmold with no trouble. Place the strawberry cream in the middle and top the mold with sliced fresh fruit, then sprinkle the coconut all over. Garnish with sprigs of mint.