Individual berry meringue pots – and a cookbook review

by Jeanne on October 7, 2009

in Book reviews, Dessert, Recipes - eggs, Recipes - gluten-free, Recipes - vegetarian


It's a well-known fact that a lot of South Africans who emigrate, head for Australia in search of a similar climate, lifestyle and culture. In fact, in the early 90s "packing for Perth" became slang for describing anybody who was emigrating, no matter where they were going!  I, too, have always harboured a secret desire to be Australian.  No, it has nothing to do with escaping South Africa's crime/BEE/corruption or whatever other reasons people cite for leaving.

It has to do with the Australian Women's Weekly magazine.

I mean, who hasn't seen their wonderful cookbooks and yearned to live in a land where this magazine and its wonderful recipes are easily and regularly available?? 

In pretty much every bookstore in the English-speaking world, you will find a revolving rack of Australian Women's Weekly Home Collection cookbooks.  These slim but info-packed soft-cover recipe books have a knack of hitting just the right note – loads of eminently achievable recipes, mouth-watering photography, easy-to-follow instructions, and they are cheap enough that you can afford to fill your shelves with them.  Each one is fairly narrowly themed (e.g. low-fat, ice-creams, burgers & ribs, cheese) and I have yet to see one that did not appeal to me… which is why I was so thrilled when I recently received an AWW cookbook to review from ACP Books as part of the BloggerAid – Changing the Face of Famine's View & Review programme.

The book was Fresh Fast Food, aimed at those of us who work long hours and yearn for a great meal from fresh ingredients, but convinced that we do not have the time to make it.  There are approximately 90 recipes, divided into chapters such as snacks, seafood, poultry, vegetables & grains, and easy desserts and I have to say that I was spoilt for choice as to what to make.  All the recipes looked pretty tempting (veal cutlets with a green olive salsa; chilli prawn and lime risotto; green Thai curry meatballs; zucchini and sumac fritters; or fennel and ricotta pizza), and they all carry the AWW "triple tested" guarantee so you know that whatever you choose will be a success. 

I liked the clean layout of the book, the clear and concise instructions, and the beautiful photographs that accompany each recipe.  An added bonus was the glossary (and conversion tables) at the back – having just finished work on editing the soon-to-be-released BloggerAid cookbook, I have become super-sensitive to differences in units of measurement and food nomenclature in different parts of the world! All in all, I was  very impressed with the book as it contains the kind of recipes that I would actually make and incorporate into my routine, rather than a collection of impossibly complex dishes that will live on my shelf unopened.

After much debate, I decided to go for a dessert.  I had guests coming over (so what else is new?!?) and decided to treat them to individual desserts, which somehow always seem more special than a big bowl of something, and the raspberry meringue pots seemed to be just the thing.  The only change I made was to use a tub of mixed frozen berries rather than only frozen raspberries.

The pots are fantastic – just as quick and easy as the recipe suggests, pretty to serve, and delicious with their combination of sweet meringue and tart berries, and their vibrant red colour.  Although the recipe says that it makes 4 portions, I think you could easily stretch this to 6 portions by using slightly smaller ramekins.

Thanks to ACP and BloggerAid, I think I may have a new favourite "go to" summer dessert!




Click here for printable recipe.


2 cups frozen raspberries (or mixed frozen berries)
2 Tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 Tablespoon orange juice
3 egg whites
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
2 teaspoons white vinegar


Pre-heat the oven to 160C. 

Combine berries and sugar in a small saucepan.  Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves.  Stir in the blended cornflour and juice.  Cook, while stirring, until mixture boild and thickens slightly.

Blend of process half the berry mixture until smooth.  Place in a medium bowl, then stir in the unprocessed berry mixture.  Divide among 4-6 x 250ml ovenproof dishes.

Beat the egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the 3/4 cup of sugar, beating until sugar dissolves between additions.  Fold in the remaining cornflour and vinegar.

Spoon the meringue mix over the berry mixture in the dishes.  Bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until meringue is browned slightly.  Serve hot.


Don't forget to check out my latest article over at Food24, all about the different grades of olive oil.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

giz October 7, 2009 at 11:22 am

What a great review Jeanne. I kind of had this vision of a raspberry meringue pot landing on my table…until…the last picture came up. I love the Australian Women’s Weekly books too and get my Australian cousin to send them to me.


Kit October 7, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Now I really have to find some ramekins to try these. I used to have some but they all get used for things other than food and get lost all round the house, holding collections of crystals and all sorts. I love those oven-proof glass bowls you used though – make it all so elegant.


deeba October 7, 2009 at 1:29 pm

These are just precious Jeanne. I’m glad you picked dessert…LOL! I love the AWW series & you hit the nail on the head about them. I have ramekins & frozen strawberries. Do you reckon strawberries will work here? delicious post!!


Liliana October 7, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Great book review! The meringue raspberry pots look amazing! This is a dessert that my family would love – and I just bought some new ramekins.


Manggy October 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm

As a cookbook junkie, I approve this message ;) That pool of berries is mesmerizing to this tropical islander! :)


Bellini Valli October 7, 2009 at 3:07 pm

These do sound incredibly delicious Jeanne. So glad you had the opportunity to add this cookbook to your collection and tell us all about it.


johanna October 7, 2009 at 4:45 pm

ooh, yes, those were delicious! can’t wait to have more from that book!


nina October 7, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I would have scraped that bowl empty like that too!!! Simple dessert with a wow effect….I like it a lot!!!


Siri October 7, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Hi there! Just discovered your blog via tastespotting. I know very little about South African and Australian food traditions, so it was interesting reading this. This reminds me a lot of a dish called Salzburger Nockerl that I had this past spring while on vacation in Salzburg, Austria. It’s Salzburg’s signature dessert. Meringue and fruit is such a good combo and looks really elegant. I love how you served it individually. -SIRI


Gourmet Chick October 7, 2009 at 10:30 pm

As an Aussie living in London I do agree with your verdict on the AWW cookbooks they are great – all the recipes are triple tested so I find them very reliable


Fiyola October 8, 2009 at 12:06 am

Great post Jeanne. Talking about cooking/food books, did you hear the bad new about Gourmet Magazine? This is ne of the more classy, leading magazines on the subject of food here in the USA and it has just been shut down. After almost 70yrs as an “American Icon” in the promotion of food, the owners have decided to close it down for financial reasons. It is a really sad day for the American foodie!


Bordeaux October 8, 2009 at 7:27 am

I am so inviting myself to your house if and when we make it to London on this planned trip. Just being polite here and giving you ample warning.


Johanna October 8, 2009 at 11:46 pm

great recipe for summer food in winter – love the AWW books – I have many and loved them when living in the UK as I grew up on them – and most of their recipes work wonderfully


Barbara October 9, 2009 at 4:55 am

And we would love to have you visit Jeanne. My children were recently reminiscing about how they used to read my AWW Chinese Food cook book when they were little.


maybelles mom October 9, 2009 at 5:05 am

great review. First, I had no idea about the australia and south africa connection. second no idea about AWW. Now I really want to look it up.


Jan October 9, 2009 at 11:32 am

Fantastic meringue pots – they look delish!
A great review of that book too.


TheWoman October 11, 2009 at 7:05 am

Glad to hear I’m not the only rabid AWW fan! I used to page those magazines to death in our local library.


Myfrenchkitchen October 13, 2009 at 4:54 pm

I love a little meringue with bit of fruit compote/coulis. This really looks divine and so beautiful too…


Bron October 27, 2009 at 3:07 am

Mmmm how did I miss these? You know what us Kiwis are like with meringue and berries, hehe – might make a variation with rhubarb tonight, delicious!


Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet January 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Yet another lovely way to use meringue. It so versatile! Moreish photos!


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