Strawberry Frozen Yogurt with Summer Fruits and Italian Meringues

The best of the season in a bowl! Icy-cold strawberry frozen yogurt and ripe summer fruits and berries, accompanied with a crisp meringue.

Strawberry meringue and frozen yogurt recipe

I was once on a panel about blogging and everyone was surprised when I said that at any given time, I have about seventeen posts started, either sitting on my kitchen counter or partially written on my computer. With the focus on blogs being a little more spiffy than they used to be, back when you could – for example – write a haiku to a espresso-filled chocolate candy, now you’ve got to me a bit more alert as to what you put online.

I never really thought of this space as a bijou, as the French might say, a jewel. It’s unpolished and casual, more so than a cookbook, and a place to share stories and recipes in a freestyle fashion. I love taking pictures and writing stories, but I worry about flaws, goofs, and that kind of stuff. But back in those days, it was kind of fun to share kitchen disasters and things that I wouldn’t put on the blog today. (Which some of you are probably grateful for.)

Strawberry meringue frozen yogurt Sometimes I look back at posts from ten years or so ago, with pictures taken with a point-and-shoot camera, which at the time, was cutting-edge, breakthrough technology. Seeing them now is like looking at pictures of myself wearing bell-bottoms in the 70’s. (And every time I see young men wearing their trousers halfway down their thighs now, I want to yank them up and say, “Dude, I’m doing you a favor. Trust me, you’ll thank me in twenty years when you see the photos.”)

So occasionally I’ll go back and revisit a recipe and a post, like the one for strawberry frozen yogurt, which is one of my favorite frozen dessert recipes, but the old photos were the size of a postage stamp and looked like I shot them in an airplane bathroom. Looking at the photos on the blog right now, I wonder if I’m going to have to update them in ten years as well. But for now, when I see such beautiful fruits at the market, I try to do the best I can, which is really all we can do, isn’t it?

Italian meringue

I remember my third-grade teacher once humiliated me in front of the class for trying to write with my left hand, because my father was left-handed and I thought I’d try it, too. I’m no expert on child-rearing but think it’s probably normal to want to copy what your parents do. But she stood by my desk and told a little boy in the third-grade that he was a show-off and made me sit in the middle of the classroom, all by myself, as punishment. (She got her comeuppance years later when a neighbor told me the same teacher was so mean to her kids she took it up with the school board, who removed her from her teaching position.)

Although we look back and regret things, that’s part of life and there’s not much we can do about it now. We did the best we thought we were doing at the time. And the blog is sort of a running commentary about what I’m cooking and baking now. I may need to go back and update this post in the future as well, but I think that the idea of a bowl of fresh fruit and a scoop of ice cream, sorbet, or frozen yogurt is always going to be in style. Even people who beg off dessert will dig into a dessert like this, especially with a crisp meringue parked alongside.

italian meringue

You could make a standard French meringue but an Italian meringue, made with a sugar syrup, is good for a number of reasons. One if that the egg whites are cooked so if you have concerns about eating uncooked eggs (but can’t resist taking a taste of anything that you’re baking – like I do), you can taste away. And the meringue is more stable than other kinds of meringues and is nice if you want to pipe it out into swirly shapes or whatever you fancy.

Italian meringues

Now that I’m a well-adjusted adult, I don’t have to worry about being called a show-off because my piping skills don’t rival those of a cake decorator. (That’s why they get the big bucks.) We all have skills that are better than others, so best to be happy with what you can do and not compare yourself to others, even under the watchful eyes of the internet ; )

My only regret was that after I took these snapshots, we sat down and had our dessert. But then I pondered if I should have made a sauce to go with it. Instead of starting all over from scratch, we finished the rest of the bottle of wine, I said good night to a neighbor who came by for dinner, then called it a day and went to bed. So perhaps that’ll be my update in the future. In the meantime, I’ve given a recipe for a sauce if you want to make one to accompany it, so you can sleep soundly, too.

Strawberry meringue and frozen yogurt recipe

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt with Summer Fruits and Italian Meringues
Print Recipe
Mixing up the fruits is entirely up to you: plums, melon, blueberries, blackberries or peaches work nicely together, or you can take it in a tropical direction with pineapple and mangoes, maybe sprinkling toasted coconut over the top. Or pair the strawberry frozen yogurt with a scoop of mango frozen yogurt, white chocolate-fresh ginger ice cream, frozen zabaglione, or vanilla ice cream.I’ve included a recipe for a fruit sauce to serve with this or serve it in a pool of cool creme anglaise. I plucked tiny basil leaves and used them as a garnish. If you use basil, the small leaves aren’t as sharp as the large ones.Meringues are fairly easy but do not make them on a humid day as they won’t crisp up. If the idea of making a meringue with a syrup seems daunting, you can make a traditional French meringue. This will make more meringues than you need but you can store them. After the recipe I’ve given some troubleshooting and storage tips.
Italian meringues
1/2 cup (120ml, from about 4 large eggs) egg whites, at room temperature
optional: 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar (see below)
1/2 cup (120ml) water
1 cup (200g) sugar
To assemble the dessert
One batch strawberry frozen yogurt
A mixture of ripe summer fruits and berries; any combination of stone fruits (which include plums, peaches, apricots, and nectarines) and berries
Mint or tiny basil leaves for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºF (93ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. To make the meringues, put the egg whites in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.
3. Heat the water and sugar in a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer. As the temperature of the syrup climbs close to 240ºF/115ºC, begin whipping the egg whites on medium-high speed, adding the cream of tartar, if using.
4. When the syrup reaches 240ºF (115ºC), remove from heat and in a slow, steady stream, pour the syrup into the egg whites, making sure you’re pouring it between the whip and the side of the bowl. Pouring the syrup on the whip will cause it to fling and stick to the sides of the bowl, not go into the whites.
5. Continue whipping the meringue on medium-high speed until smooth and glossy, 5 to 10 minutes. If you lift the whip and they look grainy, continue whipping them.
6. Using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, pipe the meringue into shapes on the prepared baking sheets. You can use a plain tip to pipe another shape, or even make the meringues into “nests” using a soupspoon, shaping them like a mound of mashed potatoes with a crater ready to hold gravy in the middle.
7. Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until they feel close to dry when you touch them. Turn the oven off and let the meringues rest in the oven until cool and dry.
8. To assemble the dessert, arrange the fruits and berries in shallow soup bowls. Place scoops of the strawberry frozen yogurt nestled amongst the fruits and berries, and garnish with herbs.
If you wish to make a strawberry sauce, puree 1 pound (450g) hulled strawberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Press through a strainer to remove the seeds, and taste, adding more sugar if desired.

Troubleshooting meringues

The bowl must be clean and dry and free of any grease. If not, the meringues will not whip. Any traces of yolks in the egg whites will have a similar effect. Do not use a plastic mixing bowl as they retain oil, which will prevent the egg whites from whipping properly, too. They meringues may stick to silicone mats, so I use parchment paper for baking them.

I added a dash of cream of tartar, which isn’t the same as tartaric acid. I bring it over from the U.S. It’s not necessary, but does help stabilize the egg whites. In Europe, it’s available from Dr. Oetker and Marks & Spencer carries it. You can omit it, if you wish. If you live elsewhere, check out my Tips for Finding Foods Online.

If you take the temperature of the sugar syrup above 240ºF/115ºC by accident, you can add a few tablespoons of water which will lower the temperature, then continue cooking it to bring it back up to the correct one.

If the texture of the meringue before piping is grainy, it likely needs to be whipped more. If small amounts of syrup leaking out while the meringues are cooking around the base, either they haven’t been whipped enough or humidity is causing it. In most cases, that can be easily removed after baking.

Meringues can usually be kept at least a week or more, in an airtight container. They are extremely susceptible to humidity so store them in a cool, dry place. I’ve not frozen meringues but I don’t recommend it as they may get soggy when defrosted.


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36 comments

  • Nadia
    June 22, 2016 5:48pm

    Perfect timing. I was thinking about trying to make Italian meringues this week. I have never made these so am grateful for the tips.

  • Lydia
    June 22, 2016 5:54pm

    Re: your awful teacher experience, I can relate. In grade 1 we had a substitute teacher who made us do these printing worksheets front and back, and for whatever reason she not very nicely said I had to redo the whole thing. I don’t think she publicly humiliated me, but I remember being so overwhelmed I cried.

  • i love seeing how far blogs have come; the authors then seem more like humans who started from the beginning and less like they came out of the womb knowing how to be a food blogger!

  • Pete
    June 22, 2016 7:15pm

    A 1/2 cup is 120ml not 60ml. :)

    fixed! thanks.. dl

  • Taste of France
    June 22, 2016 11:14pm

    I just polished off a fruit salad for dessert. No meringues. But you’re right that they make a perfect little extra to go with fruit. I wouldn’t gild the lily with sauce, myself.
    Your photos are beautiful, and your explanations encyclopedic. Don’t worry about showing off–you aren’t. What a terrible thing to say to someone who is trying out something. Thank goodness it didn’t stop you from continuing to try new things.

  • Suz
    June 23, 2016 12:06am

    I would be thrilled if someone put that plate in front of me, sauce or no sauce!! Sometimes we think something is important, but no one else does! Forget the little stuff and be grateful for friends to share food with. Like me. I’d love to come for dinner. Really.

  • Suzan
    June 23, 2016 12:09am

    I was at Chez Panisse Café last night (lucky me – of course it was great!), and one superb dessert that we shared was a plum sherbet with meringues and berries – there was also a bit of an unnamed sauce that was sort of like sour cream sandwiched in between.

  • Nicolette
    June 23, 2016 4:01am

    What is it with third grade teachers?! I still have nightmares about the time I delayed the whole class from going to recess UNITIL I finished my math worksheet…it wasn’t a good time having all the other kids either glaring at me or trying to ‘whisper’ the answers so they could play!!!! Let’s just say it set up a whole ‘not thrilled with numbers’ issue. However, that said; even I can see that this dessert adds up especially well during the upcoming warm summer days!!!!!

  • June 23, 2016 7:02am

    I had teachers that called me a show off too in school. I like being the adult and basically telling them to shove it now.
    I think your piping skills are gorgeous! I would have loved a nice summery sauce to go with this as well. But it is beautiful and sounds so refreshing right now!

  • Beatrice
    June 23, 2016 2:44pm

    Hello David,
    You have a misdirected link.
    The link in this sentence: “So occasionally I’ll go back and revisit a recipe and a post, like the one for strawberry frozen yogurt, which…” does not go to your previous Strawberry froyo recipe post.
    :)
    Beatrice

  • June 23, 2016 6:16pm

    After having read all your linked earlier posts (and laughed a lot!!), I have to say: Cher David, you have become one of my most cherished, unknown ‘kitchen friends’ ever. You are SO GOOD in what you do, you are so kind sharing your experiences and wonderful phots & recipes, you stayed humble, you don’t let yourself be vexed by an occasional unkind reader – you say thank you and please – I wish I could express my gratitude better. For now just a very huge THANK YOU, MERCI BEAUCOUP, VIELEN DANK – for your posts, your pix, your incredible generosity and for the links to those older posts – the meringues will never look the same to me :)

    • June 23, 2016 6:56pm

      Kiki just expressed exactly the way I feel. It is remarkable how a relationship with a blog can start to feel like a relationship with a friend. (And I am by no means short on wonderful dear friends!)
      Thank you David, for being the great human you are and for sharing your thoughts, skills, and vulnerabilities with the wide world!

      • Mary Isenman
        June 28, 2016 5:09am

        Ditto to all that Kiki and Alida said! I feel like I’ve known you for several years, ever since I bought The Perfect Scoop and became obsessed with making ice cream. Yours is the best book out there, in my opnion. Thank you so much, David, for being you.

  • Sue from Pleasanton, CA
    June 23, 2016 6:24pm

    Your photos, composition of items on the plate, etc. are marvelous—quite making up for my not quite being able to taste the delights on the iPad screen! As for the bell-bottom pants, which I agree were nothing like the fabulous, fashionable trend they seemed at the time, there also is the obverse: I’ve discovered in looking at old photos of myself that all the things I disliked about my image were so much more attractive than what I see in my mirror now! Lesson learned: what we think is grand/grotesque may not be similarly regarded in 5 to 10 or 40 years. I think part of life is spent wasting time wishing we were more (fill in the blank), when being content with what is would be more realistic. You didn’t include a sauce? Ha! Sometimes you don’t need to gild the lily! Truly, I could lick my screen your dessert looks so scrumptious!

  • June 23, 2016 8:06pm

    Hi David – sorry to disagree, but…cream of tartar is tartric acid – I get mine from German winemakers who have it by the ton and do not use it…cream of tartar is easier as it is already pulverized and easier on the biceps ;-) In Germany, I had to purchase it from the pharmacy as Germans do not use it in their kitchens. Tartric acid is also those lovely crystals that appear in really well chilled white wines – only means that the winery didn’t chill the wines down before bottling – yes, I use to “lug” it home from NY or then later from London – but now I have a lifetime supply ;-)

  • Joanna
    June 23, 2016 8:08pm

    I remember that recipe when it was fresh and new. I use it all the time, often with little (or bit) variations.

  • Pam
    June 23, 2016 9:32pm

    David can I use the framework of your recipe and sub in blueberries, peaches or raspberries? Our strawberries are not too tasty right now.

  • Constance
    June 23, 2016 9:38pm

    This comment is about Kouign Amanns. We were in Paris earlier this month and purchased the small Kouign Amanns at Georges Larnicol that you mentioned. Very buttery and good as where their chocolates. The caramelly dense bottom and the shattering pastry effect were absent. Is there another place in Paris, outside of going to Brittany where one can find a true Kouign Amann? I am pretty addicted to the true form of this amazing pastry. Trader Joe’s used to sell a very good frozen pastry here in the US, but stopped.
    Thank you for your blog, can’t do without it.

  • Bernadette
    June 23, 2016 9:55pm

    Hi David,

    Thank you for another great recipe! I have read a multitude of food blog, cookbooks, etc. But I know that I can count on your recipes for consistently providing beautiful results. I hesitate to even bother with any others. Glad that they come from a really nice person, too!!!

  • Becky
    June 23, 2016 10:14pm

    David, I think your blog is just right. Not too casual, but casual; not too teachy, but very helpful tips. I feel like you always hit the right note. And your recipes are always fabulous. Thanks for doing this so well for so long!

  • June 24, 2016 1:01am

    How can I say this without sounding corny? But when you write I feel like you’re talking — just to me. You make your narrative into a coffee house conversation. That is true talent along with your fantastic recipes — point and shoot camera or not. I subscribe to blogs — not just for the recipes but for the person. David — you are one heck of a person!!

  • June 24, 2016 3:29am

    Totally get it about the old pics – mine are pretty bad! As for Italian meringue, that’s the only way to go. Love yours, it looks gorgeous, as do your pics!

  • Oonagh
    June 24, 2016 3:58am

    Thanks for the links, David, they made me laugh.
    Excuse me if I’m being stupid, but aren’t the egg whites in French meringues cooked as well?

  • June 24, 2016 5:31pm

    I know what you mean about going back and looking at the pictures from way back when! When I first started, I didn’t know anything about taking food pictures and they were SO BAD. I’ve started recently to reshoot some of my old recipes (which are my tried and true ones) and I’m happy to say, they’re much improved. This sorbet and those meringues look like a beautiful summer treat! My ice cream maker is ready to go, too!

  • June 26, 2016 2:39am

    You are a complete inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your humor, culinary exploits & expertise, gorgeous recipes, Paris life, clever & smart writing (I read The Sweet Life in Parish while in Paris a few years ago.. parfait!!), and truly beautiful photography… with me and the rest of world. love from Portland, Ore ~ Kristin

  • Betty
    June 26, 2016 7:10am

    I hope you will continue to post your kitchen disasters. They make me feel SO much better about my own!

  • June 27, 2016 6:16am

    The Strawberry Frozen Yogurt and Mango Frozen Yogurt both look perfect and refreshing for summer. Growing up in Texas, I learned about “weeping” meringues on humid days. My grandmother’s though, always turned out perfect. I loved reading your blog. Couldn’t stop. Will be back for more!!

  • Janet
    June 27, 2016 8:23pm

    Just finished churning the strawberry frozen yogurt and it is wonderful! Thanks again for a great recipe, David.

  • dee
    June 28, 2016 4:11am

    Hi David,

    I’m looking forward to making this! I’ve made a lot of your recipes in the past and all have been wonderful – however I’ve had to avoid the ones using Cream of Tartar or Corn Syrup. I live in Geneva, Switzerland, and have never found these. Is there a specific supermarket you buy yours from in France? Thank you!

    • June 28, 2016 8:10am
      David Lebovitz

      The cream of tartar is optional (it usually is in recipes) although readers tell me it’s available at Marks & Spencer. (And it’s available online.) I’ve listed some links at the end of the post where to obtain it in Europe. I would imagine Migros has it. I find corn syrup in Asian markets since it’s used in Korean cuisine. (More info here.) Most bakers in Europe/Switzerland use glucose, which is available at restaurant supply shops.

  • Mare
    June 28, 2016 9:01pm

    Thank you for this recipe. I’ve never made meringues before but after reading this and admiring the beautiful photos, I think I’ll try it! (If its not too humid) love this blog. I can so relate to the teacher that humiliated me when I was younger, had that experience twice :( Also have had some really great teachers along the way though too! Ditto to your comment about the pants hanging too low…..I couldn’t agree more!

  • Patricia
    July 2, 2016 3:06pm

    Love your blog. Will attempt meringues when the humidity drops here in NC (maybe November).

  • Elizabeth von Tobel
    July 2, 2016 9:28pm

    David, I rarely delurk online however you leave me no choice! ;-) I want to tell you that your site, posts, newsletters–everything that you have shared has become a true jewel in my life, and has been for many years. Your pictures are beautifully done and your writing is 100% “real”. When a new post is slower in coming, I have to remind myself that, “well, he created a great life and he’s busy living it, his new post will come when it’s supposed to.”

    Never mind that misguided teacher! Maybe it strengthened you for future ‘issues’ of which you have faced and dealt with so well.

    Look at your life and think of all the incredible and fantastic things that you have done. And I looove that you have shared them and wish that you could share more! IMO your blog is perfect!! Do not change a thing–style, nothing! Reading your blog is just like sitting down and listening to a trustworthy, good friend.

    Thank you!!

  • Anya
    July 20, 2016 5:17am

    Hi David,
    Thank you of the great recipe! I followed every step, however my meringue cookies turned light brown and not perfectly white like yours. Also, they had caramelized sugar oozing out on the bottom. Do you know what might have caused that? I made meringues in humid Massachusetts and dry California and had the same result. And don’t get me wrong: they still tasted great and were devoured in minutes, I just want to perfect my meringue making skills!

    • July 20, 2016 8:23am
      David Lebovitz

      Glad you liked the recipe. If your meringues are darkening too much, your oven is likely too hot. You can put a thermometer in it to check it, and propping the oven door open with a wooden spoon while baking can help lower the heat, if necessary. Oozing meringues are usually caused by humidity. So make sure you don’t make them on a humid day.

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