Version 2

This beautiful French dessert, made with layers of meringue, cream and seasonal strawberries is gloriously easy to make and seriously easy to enjoy! The components can all be made ahead, ready to assemble just before serving. As elegant as this looks, there’s no elegant way to cut into it – just smash it up and serve.

strawberries, 4 punnets
orange, juice of 1
rum, 150ml
pure icing sugar, 50gm sieved
egg yolks, 4
thickened cream, 1L
raw almonds, a small handful roughly chopped

Almond meringue
egg whites, 5 (700g eggs)
caster sugar, 150g
icing sugar 150g, sieved
almond meal, 150g
½ orange and ½ lemon, zest finely grated

Method
For the almond meringue, preheat oven to 100C and line 3 baking trays with baking paper. Whisk egg white, caster sugar and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until firm peaks form (6-7 minutes), fold in icing sugar, almond meal and zest, then spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Pipe meringue mixture in concentric circles to form three 20cm diameter rounds on prepared trays and bake, swapping trays part way through cooking, until crisp but not coloured (1 ½ – 2 hours). Turn off heat and cool completely in oven.

Combine strawberries in a bowl with orange juice, 50ml rum and 2tlb icing sugar, and set aside to steep (20 minutes).

Meanwhile, whisk yolks and remaining rum in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water until thick and pale (3-4 minutes), then place in an electric mixer and whisk until cooled completely (6-8 minutes). Whisk cream in a bowl until very thick, fold in icing sugar and egg yolk mixture then refrigerate until required.

To assemble, place a meringue disc on a serving plate, spoon 1/3 of the cream mixture over evenly, scatter with a third of the strawberries, then top with another meringue disc. Repeat step, then finish with remaining meringue disc on top, spread remaining cream then strawberries, and chopped almonds. This is best served within 20 minutes of assembling.