Strawberry meringue holiday wreath topped with whipped cream and homemade strawberry sauce makes a beautiful gluten free holiday dessert!
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups sliced strawberries, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
Vanilla Whipped Cream
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Sliced strawberries
- Fresh mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 225°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a 9-inch bowl to trace a 9-inch circle onto the parchment. Use a smaller 4-inch bowl to trace a 4-inch circle in the center of the 9-inch circle – this is the outline of the meringue wreath.
- For the meringue, combine egg whites and sugar in a mixer bowl and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Heat mixture to 160°F while whisking constantly to dissolve the sugar, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer mixer bowl to stand mixer fitted with wire whip attachment. Starting on low and increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff peaks begin to form, about 6 minutes. Turn off the mixer and add cream of tartar, cornstarch, and vanilla. Mix in on low speed to combine, then increase speed to medium-high and continue beating 2-3 more minutes until the mixture is fluffy and glossy and forms stiff peaks.
- Spoon 1/4 teaspoon of meringue onto each corner of the rimmed baking sheet to secure the parchment paper. Use a clean rubber spatula to drop overlapping dollops of meringue inside the wreath outline. Use the back of a spoon to gently shape the meringue into a wreath shape.
- Bake wreath for 2 hours until dry and crisp. Keep the oven door shut throughout the baking process. After 2 hours, turn off the oven and prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon. Allow the meringue to gradually cool inside the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove meringue from oven and loosen from the parchment with a thin metal spatula (meringue should release easily from the parchment paper). Let cool completely, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the strawberry sauce. Combine 1 1/2 cups strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a medium heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes until berries are soft and sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool completely. Once cool, fold in remaining 1/2 cup sliced strawberries.
- For the vanilla whipped cream, pour heavy cream into a chilled mixer bowl fitted with wire whip attachment. Add powdered sugar and whip on medium speed until cream begins to thicken. Add vanilla and whip the cream on medium-high speed until medium peaks form.
- To assemble the wreath, spread whipped cream over the cooled meringue and top with spoonfuls of strawberry sauce. Garnish with sliced strawberries and mint leaves and serve immediately.
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Make ahead: Strawberry sauce can be made 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. Meringue wreath can be baked 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container overnight. Assemble wreath just before serving.
Keywords: Strawberry, Meringue, Swiss Meringue, Pavlova, Holiday Dessert