|Caster sugar||6 Ounce|
Heat the oven to 200°F, 100°C, gas no. 1/4 or Low and line a baking sheet with silicone paper.
Mark a circle on it of 8 inches (20 cm), using a flan or cake tin or a small plate.
Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk on high speed with an electric or hand rotary whisk until they form soft peaks.
Add the sugar a teaspoonful at a time, whisking well after each addition until all the sugar has been added.
Place the meringue in a piping bag fitted with a large rose pipe and fill the circle with the meringue to make a flat base.
Pipe rosettes of meringue around the edge to build up the sides.
Bake in the oven for 3 to 4 hours until the meringue is crisp and has dried out.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
The meringue basket may filled with any fresh fruit and cream.
Soft fruit such as raspberries and strawberries make a special filling if blended with double cream.
Use 1/2-3/4 lb (225 g-350 g) of raspberries or strawberries to 1/4 pint (150 ml) whipping cream and fold the fruit into the lightly whipped cream, reserving a few whole berries for decoration.
Pile into the meringue case and leave to stand for at least an hour for the meringue to soften before serving.
Decorate with the whole fruit and, if liked, a few small fresh sprigs of mint.