Note: if desired, add vanilla to cream or juice from berries.
Bring egg whites to room temperature. If you’ve just pulled them out of the fridge, place egg whites in a clean bowl. Place the bowl with egg whites into a bowl filled with warm water. This will speed up the process. Once the egg whites reach room temperature, whisk the egg whites until they become frothy.
Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat. As the egg whites increase in volume, add the sugar spoonful by spoonful. You should feel or see granulated sugar within the egg white mixture.
The egg white mixture will be ready once it looks like thick whipped frosting with stiff peaks. From my experience, it’s a few minutes beyond the very glossy stage.
Preheat the oven to 250 F. On a clean baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat, spoon meringue into the desired size. Using the backside of a spoon, make a nest in the center of the meringue for filling. Put the meringue in the oven for 1 hour 15- 1 hour and 30 minutes. The meringues are cooked slowly on a low temperature to keep their white color. When they are finished they will feel dry and crisp. Some may develop hairline cracks up the side. Your meringue will be ready if it sounds hollow when tapped and cracks have formed.
When cool, serve with berries, whipped cream and fresh basil.