The components of this dessert can be prepared in stages and assembled shortly before serving. Store meringues in an airtight container at room temperature up to one week; refrigerate strawberries and sauce for up to two days. Garnish with mint.
3 quarts strawberries, quartered
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
3 tablespoons honey
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 250°.
To prepare strawberries, combine strawberries and 1/3 cup sugar; cover and chill.
To prepare meringues, cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 5 (4-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn paper over; secure with masking tape. Place cream of tartar and egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (do not underbeat). Beat in vanilla. Divide egg white mixture evenly among 10 drawn circles on baking sheets. Shape meringues into nests with 1-inch sides using the back of a spoon.
Bake at 250° for 1 hour, rotating baking sheets after 30 minutes. Turn oven off, and cool meringue nests in closed oven 30 minutes. Carefully remove meringue nests from paper. Cool completely.
To prepare sauce, combine vinegar and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; cook until syrupy and reduced to about 1/3 cup (about 5 to 6 minutes). Remove from heat. Discard cinnamon stick; stir in honey.
Place 1 meringue nest on each of 10 dessert plates; top each serving with about 3/4 cup strawberry mixture. Drizzle with about 2 teaspoons sauce.
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