Strawberry Meringue Holiday Wreath
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- Stand mixer, wire whip attachment, instant-read thermometer
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups sliced strawberries divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- Vanilla Whipped Cream
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup halved strawberries
- 4 fresh mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 225°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To create the outline for the meringue wreath, use a 9-inch bowl to trace a 9-inch circle onto the parchment. Use a smaller 4-inch bowl to trace a 4-inch circle in the center of the 9-inch circle.
- For the meringue, combine egg whites and sugar in a mixer bowl and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water.
- Heat mixture to 160°F while whisking constantly to dissolve the sugar, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer mixer bowl to stand mixer fitted with wire whip attachment. Starting on low and increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff peaks begin to form, about 6 minutes.
- Turn off the mixer and add cream of tartar, cornstarch, and vanilla. Mix in on low speed to combine, then increase speed to medium-high and continue beating 2-3 more minutes until the mixture is fluffy and glossy and forms stiff peaks.
- Spoon 1/4 teaspoon of meringue onto each corner of the rimmed baking sheet to secure the parchment paper.
- Use a clean rubber spatula to drop overlapping dollops of meringue inside the wreath outline. Use the back of a spoon to gently shape the meringue into a wreath shape.
- Bake wreath for 2 hours until dry and crisp. Keep the oven door shut throughout the baking process.
- After 2 hours, turn off the oven and prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon. Allow the meringue to gradually cool inside the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove meringue from oven and loosen from the parchment with a thin metal spatula (meringue should release easily from the parchment paper). Let cool completely, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the strawberry sauce. Combine 1 1/2 cups strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a medium heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes until berries are soft and sugar has completely dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool completely. Once cool, fold in remaining 1/2 cup sliced strawberries.
- For the vanilla whipped cream, pour heavy cream into a chilled mixer bowl fitted with wire whip attachment.
- Add powdered sugar and whip on medium speed until cream begins to thicken.
- Add vanilla and whip the cream on medium-high speed until medium peaks form.
- To assemble the wreath, spread whipped cream over the cooled meringue and top with spoonfuls of strawberry sauce.
- Garnish with sliced strawberries and mint leaves and serve immediately.