This Summer Fruit Salad With Meringue Is So Chic—And It’s Deceptively Simple


As someone who spends a lot of time cooking, there’s something about the switch to summer weather and casual vibes that makes me want to take a few months away from my kitchen. I’m more about quickly-arranged snack plates, smoothies, and sandwiches—all things that don’t require much planning or prep. However, this approach doesn’t usually apply to desserts. No matter the season, my sweet treats often require some level of assembly and preparation. As much as I wish a square of dark chocolate for dessert could suffice, it simply doesn’t satisfy. So summer desserts usually require me to get creative. Which is where this upgraded summer fruit salad comes in. Think: your favorite summer fruits all dressed up. The result? A dessert that looks fancy, but requires very little effort.

I know, I know: you saw the word meringue in the title and I’m over here saying “no effort.” But I promise this is the real-deal, low-effort dessert. I’m sharing my tips and tricks for the easiest meringue that can be prepped ahead of time, how to get the most flavor out of your summer fruits, and tips to dress up the recipe so that it’s ready for any summer gathering.

Summer Fruit Salad Ingredients

Summer fruits. Ripe strawberries, sweet cherries, peaches, and plums are all great options for this fruit salad.

Lemons. Using both the juice and the zest ensures you get the most flavor.

Salt. No dessert is complete without salt!

Honey. I prefer the floral flavor that honey adds over granulated sugar, but you can use the latter if you prefer.

Mint. Optional, but I like the freshness this herb imparts.

Egg whites. Whipped up and baked, these are the driving force of your crispy, crunchy meringue.

Sugar. For the meringue, we’ll want to use granulated sugar.

crunchy meringues

How to Prepare Crunchy Meringue

As I said earlier, the meringue is incredibly easy to make for this recipe. You don’t need to stress about making it look perfect. We’ll just be drying it out.

First, let your eggs come to room temperature. It’s often easier to separate yolks while the eggs are cold, so I like to separate my eggs and then let the egg whites come to room temperature. When you whip your eggs, this helps them build structure.

Gradually add the sugar. As we whip our egg whites, we also want to make sure to add our sugar in about a tablespoon at a time. This will ensure that the granules all become incorporated. Once the sugar is incorporated, we’re going to turn up the speed on the mixer and whip until the meringue becomes super glossy and thick in texture.

Bake your meringue. Instead of piping pretty rosettes or trying to shape a large amount of meringue, we’re spreading a thin layer of meringue onto a lined baking sheet. Once this bakes and dries, we’ll crush the meringue into crackly pieces. Don’t worry about making it look perfect—it’s going to get crushed!

The best part of this meringue is that once you break it up into pieces, you can store it in an airtight container and it’s ready to go for any future desserts.

eton mess summer fruit salad
summer fruits

How to Maximize the Flavor of Your Summer Fruit Salad

Fruit salad is one of those deceptively simple recipes that can be ruined very quickly. It’s all about balancing textures and flavors so that the salad feels cohesive, rather than a mish-mash of ingredients.

When it comes to texture, we’ll mix macerated and freshly chopped fruits. Especially if you’re using berries, ensuring that you include some fresher and firmer fruits keeps the texture from feeling mushy and soft.

Think about which fruits boast a stronger flavor. I find cherries and strawberries to be a bit stronger in flavor, versus something like a blueberry or melon.

Prep Tips

  • Chop all fruits to the same size. That means halving or even quartering larger strawberries, chopping up peaches, etc. Even sizing means every spoonful has a little bit of everything.
  • Lemon and salt bring your salad together. When macerating fruits, alongside the sugar, I like to add a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. Salt brings out the flavor of every fruit, so even just a pinch makes a big difference.
  • Serve meringue on the side. If serving to guests, I like to create a little assembly line with some whipped cream and a bowl of the meringue so guests can help themselves as they like. It’s so chic—and they’ll never know how easy it was for you to prepare.
whipped cream summer fruit

Print

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Description

An easy summer dessert featuring a simple meringue and the season’s freshest flavors.


  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups strawberries, chopped
  • 2 cups sweet cherries, halved
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • toppings for garnish: mint, toasted almonds, whipped cream, etc.

For the meringue:

  1. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 200 F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg whites and beat on medium-high until soft peaks begin to form.
  3. Add the sugar in about a tablespoon at a time until all the sugar has been incorporated. Add the salt.
  4. Turn the mixer to high and beat egg whites for about 4 minutes, until the egg whites have become glossy and thick in texture.
  5. Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of meringue onto the parchment paper. You can also pile up any leftover meringue in any shape you prefer.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 2-3 hours until the meringue is dry to the touch. Turn off the heat and let the meringue cool in the oven, preferably overnight.
  7. To store, remove meringue from parchment and crush as desired.

For the Fruit Salad:

  1. Chop fruits and add to a large bowl. Add the honey, lemon juice and zest, and pinch of salt. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge until ready to serve.
  2. To serve, layer fruits into a bowl and top with crushed meringues. Add any other toppings of choice. Enjoy!





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