Adapted from Southern Living
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 7 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 16 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups whipping cream
- 4 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, plus some halved berries to garnish the top of the cake
- Preheat oven to 250°.
- Cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 2 (8-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn parchment over and use masking tape to adhere to sheets.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Add salt and cornstarch. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and mixture is glossy, about 4 minutes.
- Place one quarter of egg white mixture onto circles drawn on parchment paper (about 1 1/2 cups mixture per circle), spreading to cover each circle completely.
- Bake at 250° for 1 hour, turning baking sheets after 30 minutes. Turn oven off; let meringues stand in closed oven with light on 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until surface is dry/not sticky.
- To assemble, beat together mascarpone cheese and vanilla in a large bowl just until blended.
- Beat whipping cream on low until foamy, then increase speed to medium-high, and gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.
- Carefully remove 1 meringue from parchment paper; place on a serving plate. Spread a quarter of the mascarpone mixture (about 2 cups) over meringue, then top with a third of the berries (1 1/2 cups). Repeat layers 2 times; top with remaining meringue, mascarpone mixture, and finally the halved strawberries. Serve immediately, or chill up to 2 hours. Cut with a serrated knife.