A great way to cope with stress is to get all of your feelings out, and believe it or not, cooking is a great stress relieving hobby. You can do all of the chopping, whisking, stirring, and kneading while cooking to release your stress, and you will have a tasty meal to top it all off. This crunchy almond butter meringue with berries and cream will help reduce your stress while cooking, and it will satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. Try it out!
1/3 cup well-stirred, smooth or crunchy roasted almond butter (see headnote), at room temperature
1 pinch salt, as needed for nut butter
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup (130 grams) sugar plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 1/2 pints bush berries such as blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries, or a combination
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (30 grams) sliced or coarsely chopped almonds
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 225° F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
- If the nut butter is unsalted, stir in a pinch of salt, or to taste.
- Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large clean dry bowl and beat at medium-high speed (with a stand mixer) or at high speed (with a handheld mixer) until the egg whites are creamy white (instead of translucent) and hold a soft shape when the beaters are lifted.
- Gradually add the 2/3 cup sugar a heaping teaspoon at the time, taking 1 1/2 to 2 minutes in all. The meringue should be very stiff.
- Scatter small spoonfuls of the nut butter over the meringue and use a large rubber spatula to fold it—but not completely—into the meringue, leaving visible streaks and pockets of nut butter. Scrape the meringue into the center of the lined baking sheet.
- With the back of a large spoon, spread the meringue to form a shallow shell about 9 inches in diameter, with slightly raised edges. Sprinkle nuts around the edges of the meringue.
- Bake for 2 hours. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue inside to cool. (Once it is completely cool, the meringue can be stored in an airtight container for at least 2 weeks.)
- To Assemble: If using strawberries, cut them in halves, or quarters if they are very large. Whip the cream with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and vanilla in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters until it is almost stiff. Spoon the cream over the meringue leaving some to nutty edges showing. Top with berries. Serve immediately for the crunchiest meringue, or refrigerate for up to 3 hours to let the meringue start to soften and merge with the cream.