Thursday, December 23, 2021

Berry Christmas Meringue Wreath #Christmas #dessert






This will be my final post on Mystery Lovers Kitchen and I wanted to leave you with something special.  I have loved being part of this wonderful blog with these talented and generous mystery writers and look forward to guesting in future when a new book comes out. I have enjoyed the interactions with our loyal readers, bakers and tasters.  What a crew!  I'll still be popping in to see what everyone is up to. I hope you all have the best of holidays, full of food, friends, fun and fabulous cozy reading.

A few years ago I saw the brilliant Mary Berry demonstrating Christmas recipes on TV and she showed a meringue wreath. I have dreamed of it ever since!  It was so beautiful and yet it looked like fun to make.. This is an adaptation of that recipe, using North American measurements and my mother’s meringue recipe times 1 ½.   I also decided to add a bit of orange liqueur and flavorings  to the whipping cream.  The nice thing about whipped cream is that you can jazz it up any way you want.  It’s more an approach than a recipe.  I might have saved dessert this for Christmas Day except that this post is on December 23rd. So I'll have to make another one!

Meringue is easy as long as your egg whites are at room temperature and there is not a speck of grease on your bowl or beaters. 


Berry Christmas Meringue Wreath



6 egg whites

1 ½ cups sugar minus 1 ½ tablespoons

1 tsp good quality vanilla extract

½ tsp almond extract

¼ tsp cream if tartar

2 cups whipping cream  (35 percent)

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

½ cup fresh blueberries

fresh mint leaves

1 tsp vanilla

Optional: 3 tablespoons Cointreau or other liqueur or flavoring to taste



Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.

 Meringue cooked at this temperature tends to be chewy rather than crumbly.  You don't want this wreath shattering into a zillion pieces!

To make the wreath: You will need a sheet of parchment paper with a 12-inch diameter circle drawn on it. Inside that draw another circle 6 inches in diameter.  This will make a ring to use to shape your wreath. 



Our cookies sheets were not wide enough to accommodate the twelve in circle so we used a large pizza pan.    I am glad we did because the meringue spread a bit while cooking!  Be prepared.

Separate eggs. 




Add egg whites, vanilla, almond extract and cream of tartar to a large bowl.  Beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  It should be nice and glossy.



Spoon the meringue into the ring on the parchment paper.  Swirl it around to suit yourself. Should be pretty. 



 Using a tablespoon, make a trench for the whipping cream in the middle of the wreath.  


Bake for two hours.  Cool completely.  



Whip cream with sugar, Cointreau and vanilla (or whatever flavorings you choose) until stiff peaks form.  


 Transfer meringue to a serving plate. Spoon whipped cream into ‘trench’ in meringue, swirling to make it pretty.   

Decorate with berries and mint sprigs. Of course you could use any fruit or candy to decorate this!



 Dig in!





I would be surprised if this is not a hit for you!  It got raves around here.  I will make it next Christmas, because I know I can make the meringue ahead of time and the whipping cream is … well, a piece of cake.







MARY JANE MAFFINI is the award-winning author of three and a half mystery series: the Camilla Maffini mysteries, the Fiona Silk capers and the Charlotte Adams organizer mysteries – number six coming soon! With her daughter Victoria Maffini, MJ collaborated on The Book Collector Mysteries as Victoria Abbott. Victoria Abbott spent several happy years on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. MJ  is very glad to be back and Victoria is waving at you all!


The first five Charlotte Adams are being reissued by Beyond the Page Publishing. Recipes have been added and of course, the organizing tips continue! The Charlotte Adams books have recently been optioned for television films.  The pooches on the covers look a lot like guest posters Penny and Ivy.

Organize Your Corpses was re-released as an e-book and a trade paper on May 18. There's a great deal for the e-book.   You can order it HERE!

The Cluttered Corpse was reissued on June 15th and Death Loves a Messy Desk arrived on July 13th. 

Closet Confidential was out in August.



Jordan Bingham has a tough time: she's the first person in her large family to go straight. She has learned some useful skills from her crooked relatives but she's trying to hang on to a legit job working for a curmudgeonly book collector. But of course, the bodies keep piling up.  There's lots of fun in the book collector series from Victoria Abbott.

Don't forget to check out MJ's Canadian books:  Camilla MacPhee features a fortyish widowed lawyer who runs an advocacy agency for victims of violent crime, in Ottawa, Canada's capital city. Life would be easier if she didn't have the world's worst office assistant, the world's bossiest sisters and, arguably, the world's greatest stubborn streak. If you like your mysteries a bit edgy with a side order of humor, these could be for you.  

Keep up on the news!  You can sign up for updates about MJ and Victoria plus fun and prizes through our newsletter HERE 











  1. I'm adding this recipe to my recipe for mile-high meringue. Meringue is my favorite part of lemon meringue pie! I'm going to love this wreath. Thank you Ms. Maffini for sharing the recipe. I wish you the best in new endeavors & look forward to your popping in from time to time on Mystery Lovers Kitchen.

    1. Thank you, Linda, for your kind words. Mile-high meringue sounds awesome. No doubt I'll run into you from time to time here in the comments section. Happy hols!

  2. Thanks for this great dessert, MJ. Can’t wait to try it! Also, I couldn’t help feeling a little teary over your farewell - not goodbye, I know - but still . . . And then I looked at that dessert again, and all your delightful books, and your smiling face, and knew we’d all be fine. Happy holidays! xo

    1. Aw, thanks, Molly! We will be practically tripping over each other in the cozy world. Hugs. MJ

  3. That's going out on a high note MJ! We will miss you and your cheerful, funny presence so much! Come back often. xoxo

    1. Thanks, Lucy/Roberta! I'll miss you too. But I'll still be lurking around checking out the great food and new books on MLK. Hugs. MJ

  4. What a gorgeous dessert, MJ, a fantastic farewell post. We will all miss you greatly, especially your good humor and grace. Come back and visit us often to catch us up on your work and life. Until then, Marc and I wish you a beautiful holiday and joyful new year. xoxo ~ Cleo

    1. I hope your holidays are wonderful, Cleo! I know that they will be full of wonderful food. Thanks for your kind words. Hugs. MJ

  5. Awww, leaving so soon? How sad.
    You will be missed, of course. So we will have to pay close attention to comments to keep up with you and your humor.
    May all your meringues be miles high and covered with whipped cream and fruit! (And not crumbly!)
    Very best wishes for the new year and beyond.

    1. I am sure we won't lose touch, Libby! I am already thinking about guest posts and a chance to reconnect. Happy hols! MJ

  6. Oh no, MJ! We love you and your books so much! The dessert looks marvelous. Please come back and visit the blog when you can! xo

  7. Thanks, Lynn in Texas! I will miss favorite readers like you too, but as the man said, "I'll be back." Hugs. MJ