• Heat oven to 200°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Trace six 3-inch circles on each piece of parchment; flip over (pencil side down).

  • Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Whisk egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Set over simmering water, whisking constantly, until mixture is hot to the touch and sugar is dissolved (feel a bit between your fingers), about 2 min. Transfer bowl to mixer fitted with whisk attachment, add vanilla and beat on med-high, increasing speed until fairly stiff peaks hold, about 4 min.

  • Remove bowl from mixer. Scatter 4 to 5 drops food coloring over meringue. Fold 2 or 3 times with a large rubber spatula. (Don't over-stir; you want to leave streaks in meringue. It will continue to mix as you work with it.)

  • With a large serving spoon, scoop up 1/2 cup meringue and use another spoon to scrape it onto one of the circles. Gently spread meringue with back of spoon to fill circle. Repeat with all circles. Bake 2 hr, rotating pans halfway through. Turn off oven and let meringues cool inside.

  • When cool, set aside the 6 prettiest meringues. Place the rest flat side up on a baking sheet. With a large spoon, scoop about 1/2 cup sorbet (in a couple of flat layers, not one big scoop) onto each meringue on baking sheet. Gently press a prettier meringue on each (sorbet will help them adhere). Wrap baking sheet in plastic, and freeze 1 hr or until serving.

Meringue Tips

  • Don't use liquid egg whites (from a carton). They won't whip up.

  • Be careful when separating eggs: Even a drop of yolk will cause them to fall flat.

  • A dab of meringue on the underside of each corner of parchment will keep the paper from sliding around.

  • You can prepare meringues in advance, especially if the weather is dry. Once cool, store in an airtight container. Form sandwiches up to a day ahead, and serve straight from freezer.

  • For variety, make a red-swirled batch of meringues and fill with coconut sorbet.

Nutrition Facts

405 calories; 0 g total fat; 74 mg sodium. 97 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein;