To make the meringues: Preheat the oven to 300℉. On a piece of parchment paper, trace six 3-inch circles. Flip the parchment over so the pen/marker is on the underside, and you can still see the circles. Set aside.
In a clean stand mixer bowl, combine the egg whites, vinegar, and salt. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes, until the eggs foam. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and whip for 2 more minutes, until medium soft peaks form.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cornstarch. Beat the sugar mixture into the whites, 1 tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated. Beat in the extract, if desired. The egg whites should almost double in size and become glossy. Whisk for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Drop a large spoonful of meringue mixture onto each circle. Add more meringue to each, dividing it equally between the 6 circles. Alternatively you can fill a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip with the mixture and pipe it into the circles. Using the back of a spoon, make an indentation in the middle of each meringue to create a nest (this will allow you to fill them with berries and cream after they bake).
Turn the oven heat down to 250℉ and place the meringues in the oven. Bake for 1 hour, being sure not to open the oven during this time. After an hour, turn off the oven and let the meringues sit in it for 6 hours or overnight. They can be made a day ahead and stored in the airtight container until ready to use.
To prepare the topping: In a bowl, whisk the honey, zest, and lime juice together until fully incorporated. Add the berries and toss, making sure to coat all the fruit in the liquid. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream until it holds soft peaks. Drizzle in the syrup and vanilla and continue whipping until incorporated. Do not over whip, the cream should be soft but still hold its shape.
To assemble, place a meringue on a plate, fill with whipped cream, and top with berries. Drizzle with extra juice from the bottom of the berry bowl. Serve immediately.
Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano Ramirez are LA-based singer-songwriters and parents of three who love to collaborate, bond, and have fun together in the kitchen. The duo embraces the joys and challenges of cooking while juggling family life.