Soften gelatin in cold water in top of a double boiler; cook over boiling water until gelatin dissolves. Add sherry and vanilla, mixing well. Cool to room temperature. Fold gelatin mixture into whipped cream. Set aside.
Beat egg whites (at room temperature) in a medium mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff and glossy. Fold meringue into whipped cream mixture.
Line the sides of a 1 1/2-quart serving bowl with ladyfingers. Pour in filling; chill until set. Garnish with fresh fruit slices, and spoon into individual serving bowls.