Crushed Strawberry Mess
For the meringue:
- 3 egg whites from jumbo eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- a pinch of kosher salt
For the strawberries:
- About 25 very ripe strawberries, washed and hulled
- 3 to 4 tablespoons turbinado sugar, or to taste
- 2 pinches of kosher salt
For the cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar or honey, or to taste
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds removed by scraping with a sharp knife
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with half the sugar at medium speed until they are foamy. Beat in the remaining sugar, the cream of tartar, and the pinch of salt until the egg whites are shiny and stiff. Spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment to form 12 to 14 mounds, and bake for 30 minutes. Continue to bake for an additional hour with the oven door slightly ajar. When done, the meringues will be crisp and dry on the outside and tender and fluffy within. (Serve within 4 hours.)
Place the strawberries in a medium bowl and sprinkle with the sugar and salt. Crush them with a potato masher or large fork until they are juicy and a spoonable consistency but still chunky. Let the strawberries sit for 15 minutes before serving.
In the meantime, combine the cream, the sugar or honey, and the vanilla seeds and pulp in a medium bowl (save the vanilla pod for another use). With a whisk or an electric mixer, whip the cream until it is thickened and softly set but not firm. Whip the yogurt and fold together.
To serve, arrange the meringues, strawberries and juice, and the cream in layers on a platter or individual plates.