Summer peaches and plums are so good that it's easy to eat them as is, morning, noon and night. For a week or two, anyway. As a change of pace, try tossing them in a light ginger-thyme syrup that also flavors a meringue squiggle garnish. The earthy fragrance will bring out the fruit's hidden tastes.
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1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup water
Three 1/4-inch-thick slices fresh ginger
1 large thyme sprig
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large ripe mango, peeled and thinly sliced
2 peaches, peeled and thinly sliced
1 golden plum, thinly sliced
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 225°. In a heavy saucepan, bring the sugar, water, ginger and thyme to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain 1/2 cup of the syrup into a bowl and let cool.
Boil the remaining syrup over high heat until it reaches 230° on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes. Discard the ginger and thyme.
In a bowl, beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form. At high speed, slowly beat in the hot syrup. Add the vanilla and beat until the meringue is stiff, glossy and at room temperature.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a pastry bag with a 5/16-inch round tip (#3). Add one-third of the meringue at a time and pipe it out onto the prepared baking sheets in 5-inch-long straight or slightly squiggly lines about 1/2 inch apart.
Bake the meringues for about 1 1/2 hours, or until dry to the touch. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in for 1 hour; they should be completely crisp and dry. Let cool on the baking sheets.
Fold the fruit into the reserved syrup. Let stand for 20 minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve with the meringues.
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