Pistachio Meringue Stack with Rose Cream and Strawberries

June  2, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

The classic combination of meringue and strawberries gets a new twist in this recipe. Pistachios and brown sugar add a depth of flavor to the meringue, rose water perfumes the whipped cream and mascarpone filling, and everything comes together to highlight the luscious taste of ripe strawberries. This recipe was originally inspired by Nigella Lawson's Gooey Chocolate Stack. Summer, and leftover ingredients from a recent tryst with kheer (Indian rice pudding) inspired this version. You can locate pistachios and rose water at any Indian or Middle-Eastern store; if not, I'm sure the combination of almonds and pure vanilla would be equally delightful. This delicious dessert also happens to be gluten-free. - Heena —Heena

Test Kitchen Notes

As Stephanie, who first tested Heena's recipe said, "it's like pavlova revved up." The pistachio-laden meringue discs are a blend of chewy and crisp, and the combination of whipped cream and mascarpone lightly scented with rosewater and a dash of balsamic vinegar makes for a brilliant and delicious "glue" to hold the layers of this stack together. Mounds of fresh strawberries, macerated with sugar and a bit more rosewater (enough to evoke a summer garden without making them taste soapy), cut through the sweetness of the meringue and the mellowness of the cream. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the meringue
  • 6 large egg whites (at room temperature, make sure there is no trace of egg yolk)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed, processed in a food processor if crystals are large)
  • 1 cup fine granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup pistachios, finely chopped
  • For the berries and cream
  • Berries:
  • 2 pounds strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • Cream:
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • Garnish (optional):
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios, chopped or slivered
  1. Preheat the oven to 250° F (120° C).
  2. Lightly grease three 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Alternatively, line three baking sheets with parchment paper and draw an 8-inch circle on each one (you can use a cake pan as a guide to draw the circles).
  3. In a clean metal or glass bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt till they hold soft peaks. Whisk in the sugars 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vinegar and whisk until the mixture looks glossy and holds stiff peaks. Fold in the chopped nuts, gently but thoroughly.
  4. Divide the meringue mixture equally between the 3 cake pans or 3 circles drawn on the baking sheets. Smooth the tops with the back of a round spoon. Bake until the tops are crisp and dry, an hour to 1 hour 15 mins. Switch off the oven and leave the pans in to cool for an hour with the door slightly ajar.
  5. While the meringues cool, halve or quarter the strawberries depending on their size. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle sugar and rose water over the berries, toss gently and let stand for half an hour.
  6. Beat cream and mascarpone with the rose water in a bowl until the mixture just holds stiff peaks.
  7. Invert the cooled meringue discs onto a plate and gently peel off the parchment paper. Invert onto another plate so they are right side up.
  8. Spread a third of the cream over one meringue disc, followed by a third of the strawberries. Repeat with the remaining meringue layers, cream and strawberries. Garnish with the slivered pistachios and serve.
  9. Do-ahead: Although the dessert must be assembled just before serving, the meringue layers can be made ahead of time—they will keep well wrapped in parchment paper in an airtight container for up to a week.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ruchira Sonalkar
    Ruchira Sonalkar
  • iris
  • Emilia Rosa
    Emilia Rosa
  • sympathyjones
  • BoulderGalinTokyo

65 Reviews

Ruchira S. November 20, 2017
At what oven temperature do you bake the meringue at?
MomofChef May 24, 2014
Made this tonight with berries I picked. I made individual size meringues which worked nicely. I also substituted macadamia nuts as pistachios were no where to be found. It was scrumptuous. I love meringues with berries...this is a great riff on that.
iris August 20, 2013
Hmmmm, the rosewater has me a little concerned. My men would not like that too much, but how about using orange flower water instead? I use that on strawberries sometimes
Vivi B. June 23, 2013
I made this yesterday and it was so much fun to make and even more fun to serve. everyone went crazy for the beautiful dessert! i live in Ontario and strawberries are in season here so I used local fare. Almost no other flavouring required! I did not have time to go to my local deli to pick up rose water so I used orange bitters. 1 tsp. Twas lovely. And toasted the pistachios for garnish. otherwise. I followed this recipe to a "t" and loved it! thanks.
Emilia R. March 27, 2013
Oh, Lord! I'll have to make this one... I love pavlova, pistachios and rosewater too--what a nice combination. My problem is finding non-salted pistachios, so, maybe I could sub for sliced almonds or Brazil-nuts? Mmmm...
Gargamel January 29, 2013
I made it this weekend for a friend's birthday party. It was spectacular. Having to rely on January strawberries I simply added a bit more sugar and rose water (although not much). Thanks!
sympathyjones December 29, 2012
This sounds so good...
BoulderGalinTokyo March 10, 2012
Made my first meringue this last weekend. I was worried because it rained and I thought it might effect the outcome, 90% humidity, but everything was wonderful. Thank you for a really delicious recipe that I can return to again and again.
Heena March 10, 2012
I'm so happy you liked it! Yes, humidity can be a pain while making meringue, but sometimes it all comes together : )
Morningstar42 July 4, 2011
I loved this recipe and made it for fourth of July weekend.
Delicious, And festive with the layers and berries add great taste
Heena July 4, 2011
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Morningstar42 April 17, 2011
Going to make this for Easter for my daughter to enjoy.
betsynancy March 10, 2011
Crepes stack like in style or recipes from orginally but to note it better be softer & baked under done on merginues layers or too crunchy to serve troubles on softening!
tmmurphy October 7, 2010
I'm making this tomorrow for my in-laws. It looks wonderful.
FischFood September 30, 2010
Another good substitution I learned from Pastry Chef Gail Gand, is to use raspberry vinegar...used it when making a Pavlova (almost exact) & it comes out amazing! Well done Heena & Congrats!
Heena September 30, 2010
Thanks! That's a great tip.
Heena June 28, 2010
Thanks Anna and Paul!
CafeAnna June 28, 2010
Wow, this is beautiful!
pauljoseph June 16, 2010
“Congratulations on your win
TheWimpyVegetarian June 16, 2010
Congrats on your win! It's a beautiful looking dessert and have added to my list of must-try!
Heena June 16, 2010
lapadia June 16, 2010
Congratulations on the win...I can see this with a sparkler on top for the 4th of July picnic table!
Heena June 16, 2010
Oh, that would be beautiful. Blueberries for a blue, red and white theme? Although, the flavor might not work well with this.
mrslarkin June 16, 2010
Congrats on the win, Heena! These would be cute to make in a mini-size too!
Heena June 16, 2010
Thanks. They most definitely would.
dymnyno June 16, 2010
Sounds delicious!!! I am a huge meringue lover. Your meringue looks that because of the moisture from the brown sugar?
Heena June 16, 2010
The brown sugar affects the texture - adds a chewiness to the meringue which would otherwise be crisp.