Four Layer Meringue Berry Dessert (Red, White & Blue)

This morning’s dessert recipe is from Pat, who linked to it in the comment section. Pat was sorry Cooks Recipes didn’t include pictures, but promised me it was a good dessert. As to its name, it has flour layers. The first layer is a crumbly crust made of vanilla wafers. The second layer is a thick pile of meringue, the third layer is fresh sweetened whipped cream and the last layer is mixed berries. As a bonus, it’s made in an 8 inch square glass pan and perfect for small groups. If you like it, you can double it and use a 13×9 inch pan.

Here’s the recipe as I made it. What’s great is, the base and meringue can be cooked head of time and topped with cream and berries at serving time.

berry-meringue35

Four Layer Meringue Berry Dessert

Butter for greasing dish
1 1/2 cups Nilla Wafer crumbs, regular or reduced fat
4 tablespoons butter (regular salted type), melted
4 egg whites, room temperature — large
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint assorted berries, sweetened to taste with sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rub bottom and sides of baking dish with butter.

Stir together Nilla Wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press this mixture into bottom and slightly up sides of the greased dish.

Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Slowly add the 1/2 cup sugar to the egg whites. When whites are stiff, beat in the vanilla and pinch of salt. Spread egg white mixture over crust, doing your best not to let it touch sides of pan.

Bake crust & egg white mixture for 16-18 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack until ready to serve.

Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Spread over cooled meringue. Arrange berries on top.

Serves 4-6 people

Note: the meringue is chewy and soft and billowy in the center. If you like chewier, thicker meringue, you could probably dry it out a little more in the oven by letting it sit with the heat off for 30 minutes. I might try making it with an Italian meringue or the no-weep meringue I used on my last lemon pie.

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Comments

  1. Carole R. says

    What a wonderful sounding dessert. It is at the top of my “to try” list. Already committed to a trifle for the 4th but will try next week.

  2. Pat says

    Anna, I’m so happy that you tried the Strawberry Scrumptious! It has long been a favorite and every time it’s served, someone asks for the recipe. I think the softer meringue adds to the “cloud-like” consistency and keeps it on the light side. Enjoy!

    P.S. I originally got the recipe from Better Homes & Garden encyclopedia cookbooks which the supermarkets sold one book each week, at least 30 years ago.

  3. says

    Wow – this one looks like such a winner and I love the fact that it can be made ahead of time and just topped at the last minute – bonus.

  4. Therese B. says

    Anna:

    Is the topping like SCHAUM TORTE?

    Looks yummy…strawberries are really good and in abundance here is Wisconsin this year!

    A good way to use them up!

    HAPPY 4TH TO YOU AND FAM/AND LIL PUP!

  5. says

    Sorry to nitpick (I am a teacher after all), but shouldn’t the title of the recipe read FOUR layer and not FLOUR layer? I can’t imagine a layer of flour would be good eats! ;-)

    Happy Independence Day, Anna! –Gina

  6. says

    Carole, that’s exactly what I thought when I saw the recipe.

    Veggiegirl, it was very pretty. I guess there’s not vegan substitute for meringue, eh?

    Pat, thanks again! Todd loved the soft meringue. I liked it too, but since I’m always experimenting, I will have to try it with an Italian meringue as well.

    Cathy, I like how your blog is done by a group. I would have a lot more recipes if this were a group blog.

    Giz, the make ahead factor is a huge benefit.

    Therese, yes! Schaum Tart! I knew it reminded me of something That, or as Heidi mentioned, pavlova. I was thinking “Housewife Pavlova”

    Gina, thanks! And feel free to point out critical spelling errors or typos. Forget grammar errors because I am way past that point ;).

  7. says

    I don’t remember seeing this but now that I’ve seen it I really want to make it. Why do you not want the meringue to touch the side of the pan? I’m hosting something in August and am wondering about making individual portions in ramekins.
    I love your reference in the comments to “Housewife Pavolova”. haha!

  8. says

    Hi Sue,

    With berries in season, this is a great summer dessert. And to answer your question about the meringue, it’s just to avoid sticking. The world won’t end if the egg white touches the side of the pan (especially since it’s greased!), but at the time I thought it seemed wise to add that note.

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