Layer and fill this meringue turret up to one hour before serving for the best contrast of crunchy, chewy, and creamy textures.
Southern Living DECEMBER 2013
1. Preheat oven to 225°. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Beat egg whites at medium-high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, using whisk attachment, 1 minute; add cream of tartar and salt, beating until blended. Add sugar mixture, 2 Tbsp. at a time, beating until mixture is glossy, stiff peaks form, and sugar dissolves. (Do not overbeat.) Beat in almond extract. Reserve 1 cup meringue.
2. Gently spread enough meringue onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to make a 10-inch round (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches high). Repeat procedure twice on another parchment paper-lined baking sheet, making an 8-inch round and a 6-inch round. Make an indentation in center of each meringue to hold filling.
3. Spoon reserved 1 cup meringue into a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe meringue onto baking sheet next to 10-inch round to resemble a large chocolate kiss.
4. Bake at 225° for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until outsides have formed a crust. Turn oven off; let meringues stand in oven, with door closed, 2 to 10 hours.
5. Place 10-inch meringue on a serving plate. Fill indentation with desired amount of icing, whipped cream, and berries. Top with remaining meringue layers, icing, whipped cream, and berries. Top with kiss-shaped meringue. Serve within 1 hour.
Total time includes icing.
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