I’d be the first to admit that “pretty” food and, by extension, taking “pretty” pictures of food are not my forte.  I have neither the patience nor the ability for either and, whilst I admire those who do, I’ve made peace with my own limitations.

I can spend hours looking at perfectly crafted images on Pinterest but, after some ill-advised forays into the world of food styling in my early posts, I’ve definitely embraced a slightly more minimal approach when it comes to my own photography style (although I feel vaguely ridiculous and a total imposter to even claim to have one).



Over the last few weeks, I’ve fallen back in love with instagram. I think one of the things that appeals most to me about is is the realness and immediacy of (most of) the photographs that people post. I love those quick iphone snaps of meals and tables, with blurry hands and splatters of food that is actually being eaten (a random selection of some favourites, primarily based on who had posted most recently when I was writing this; there are far too many accounts that I love to be able to name them all).

I often end up liking the pictures I take with my iphone far more than those that I take with my fancy, big girl camera (and, rather depressingly, I often find that they’re pinned from the sidebar more often than the “proper” images in the post).  They may not be as technically precise but, somehow, or maybe as a result, they seem more alive.

All of which is really just my way of saying that if I was a better food photographer, you’d probably get better pictures (like this or this or this) of what are, I think, the prettiest little things I’ve ever made. But I’m not, and I’m all about keeping it real these days, so instead you get pictures on baking trays and parchment paper and whatever plate I happened to put them on before we ate them.




swirly blackberry meringues {gluten free}

Yield: 6 smallish meringues

You could use any fruit for these really - I love the colour that blackberries bring though and that very dark pink. These are quite nice when eaten as is but would also form the basis of an excellent pavlova with some fresh blackberries, a bit of lemon curd and some whipped cream. This makes more blackberry syrup than you need but it's so delicious, you might just want to drink it.


    For the blackberry sauce:
  • 200g (1 cup) blackberries
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • For the meringues:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 110g (1/2 cup) sugar


  1. To make the blackberry sauce, preheat the oven to 170C/325F. Place the blackberries in a small oven dish and coat with the honey and balsamic vinegar. Roast for about 30 minutes until soft to the touch. Allow to cool before pureeing in a food processor.
  2. To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 140C/275F and line a baking tray with non stick paper. In a clean bowl (metal for choice), beat the egg whites with an electric whisk until stiff peaks start to form. Gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat, until the meringue is smooth and glossy.
  3. Gently spoon the the meringue mixture into six equal rounds, trying not to squish it too much. Take a teaspoon of blackberry puree and swirl it through the meringue until you get a pretty pattern. Put them into the oven for about 30 minutes until firm to the touch. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven until the oven has cooled completely (this is the key to a chewy interior of your meringue!)
  4. Store in an airtight container - they'll last a couple of days but may start to go a bit floppy towards the end of that.
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85 Responses to "swirly blackberry meringues {gluten free}"
  1. Medeja says:

    These meringues look adorable!

  2. These meringues are beautiful! I actually love your style of photography, in all its minimalist glory. I’ve been working on stepping up my own photography and ‘styling’ game, and I must admit you are an inspiration. It’s been forever since I’ve made meringues but these have got me hankering after one. Adding to the must-make list!

    • kathryn says:

      Gosh, that’s so sweet of you to say Katie! I’ve always admired the way you make food look so appetising + it feels like I’m right there with you.

  3. I remember you posting this picture on Instagram and thinking it was one of the prettiest photos I’d ever seen! Yay for swirly meringues, these are just gorgeous. I have some blackberry meringues in my book – they’re totally different, with no blackberry in the actual meringue, but clearly we both have the same great taste in flavour combinations ;-)

  4. I agree completely with you regarding photography, I envy so many blogs and pintrests I see with their beautiful photography , but I however lack the skill and patience to be able to take such photos.
    I think you have beautiful photography though too and you should not put yourself down!
    Also these meringues look delicious , I have a beloved meringue recipe that I stick too religiously however I do like the idea of having a swirl of fruit to give them that extra something. Thanks for the idea! :) L x

    • kathryn says:

      Thanks Lynsey, you’re very sweet! I’m not really putting myself down though – now that I’ve worked out “my style”, I’m a lot happier about the pictures that I do take : )

  5. These sound so yummy!! I love the blackberry swirl :)

  6. Pru says:

    I’ve grown tired of blogs with these picture perfect photos. A scattering of biscuit crumbs here and a smear of butter there. I just like a photo of the food, I do wonder if the food is actually so good when so much work has to go into the photos – and sometimes I find the recipe actually isn’t that good. But I love your photos and your food. Having already tried these meringues (thank you xx) I have to say that they were wonderful – I cannot wait for blackberries to be ready to pick and then I’m going to make loads more of these.


  7. I love how pretty these are! What a fun treat that is a variation on the typical meringue cookie.

  8. Ashlae says:

    I very much admire and enjoy your approach to photography, lady. Sadly, because we have zero natural light in the new kitchen, I’ve had to do a bit more ‘styling’ lately and it feels so forced and fake. But like you, I definitely gravitate toward a more minimalist approach, one I think is even more beautiful than those perfectly style meringues you linked. Your meringues take the cake. SO STUNNING. Take that, food styling!

    • kathryn says:

      You’re the best Ashlae. Your photographs are some of my absolute favourites in the blog world (and they don’t ever appear forced or fake to me).

  9. cynthia says:

    I love your photos, Kathryn! These meringues are stunning — and goes to show that at its heart, the photo is only as beautiful as the food. Your dreamy, intimate, very much alive photos (and your writing, which inspires me like very few others can!) keep me coming back every week. You know, that and your bomb-dot-com-ness ;)

    • cynthia says:

      (Oh, and yay for blackberries!!!!)

    • kathryn says:

      “The photo is only as beautiful as the food” – YES! That’s one thing that I’ve realised recently and actually, there is nothing better than a picture which really shows the true beauty of food in its purest state. Also, you’re just far too kind with your every supportive comments. You’re the best! xo

  10. I think these look divinely swirly – I have been loving blackberries lately because they have been so sweet and delicious!

  11. Lindsey says:

    while i understand your thoughts and ideas on photography and the limits we feel we all have; i love coming to your space not only for your words and yummy baked goods, but your breezy, beautiful photos. and i am totally mesmerized by those blackberry swirls you’ve captured (insert: googly eyes). happy july, kathryn! xo

  12. Oh Kathryn, I love your style of photogaphy — it’s so much more realistic than the ones that are staged, and it’s so integral to getting to know you. Don’t get me wrong — I do think those other photos you linked to are absolutely beautiful, but it’s hard to compare, you know? I feel like your style of photos really help construct the world you live/eat/breathe in, and are much more warm, friendly and accessible. I love them for that.

    Also, these meringues… wowza! If I could use that emoji with the smiley face and heart eyes, I totally would.

  13. Kulsum says:

    I think your photos are lovely and so are these meringues! too bad I’m fasting xx

  14. They look pretty perfect to me!

  15. Pang says:

    Minimal approach is the photography style that I really admire, and whether you believe it or not, I found your blog through your beautiful photos. I sincerely thing they are wonderful. :)

    This meringues look so yummy, btw :)

  16. Skye says:

    Kathryn, your photos are always beautiful – I love how they showcase the beauty of the ingredients in their full glory. And I cling on to this illusion that all your food just looks naturally beautiful like that and that there is no conscious styling etc. behind the scenes with the same determination with which I still believe in Father Christmas :)
    Love your photos, second Cynthia in saying that I adore how you write – you’re always inspiring me too, and love these meringues – which I have duly pinned! Xx

    • kathryn says:

      Ha, thanks Skye. I really appreciate it, especially from someone who creates so beautiful images themselves.

  17. These may just be the most beautiful meringues EVER! Love everything about them and can’t wait to make some in my kitchen as well. And what comes to food photography I very much like your pictures! Food photography doesn’t need to be styled; it needs to convey how delicious that food is and your photography definitely does that. Every week, I visit London Bakes for its inspiring and delicious recipes that make me want to run into the kitchen, pictures that make me wish that I could sit down for coffee with you, and your lovely writing. This blog and your style are wonderful just the way they are. Honest, pure, and very much alive. Never forget that, Kathryn.

    • kathryn says:

      Oh, thank you so much Sini! I didn’t really write this post to get sympathy or attention but I’ve been really overwhelmed by everyone’s lovely comments. I’m so touched xo

  18. Your photos are so beautiful Kathryn! I’m always in awe of how gorgeous they are – sometimes simplicity is best! And these meringues look so lovely – love that blackberry swirl!

  19. alexandra says:

    One of the reasons I love your blog is that you manage to share stunning pictures of REAL LIFE. Your pictures always draw me in, then you back up your posts with lovely narrative and delicious recipes. Please continue doing what you’re doing, Kathryn! These blackberry meringue photos are breath-taking. Truly!

  20. Ileana says:

    Wow. Stunning! I’ve never tried swirling fruit through a meringue like this but what a great idea.

    • kathryn says:

      It’s a lovely way to make something that looks pretty impressive – I can’t wait to try it with other fruits too!

  21. Amanda Paa says:

    You have LOVELY photography! Perfect in my eyes. Just like these meringues. You have definitely mastered this dessert! xo

  22. Cathryn says:

    These look so beautiful! I’ve got a thing for meringue at the moment.

  23. Awww you take lovely photos!! And I rather enjoy your more minimalistic “style.” Don’t you worry bout a thang, girl. Plus, I think it suits the kind of recipes you post – very cozy and approachable. :-)

  24. oh WHATEVER your photos look awesome. i really dig a minimalist approach, which is what you’ve captured here! love your meringues. blackberry nooooommmmm nom nom nom.

  25. So gorgeous, I love the swirl!

  26. Tieghan says:

    Your photos are stunning and do not think other wise!! These are gorgeous!

  27. I think these are so pretty! So surprised to read your blog, your photos are some of my favourites of all the blogs I follow! You have a beautiful photography style.

  28. Your meringues are gorgeous. They are real, not contrived so to me that makes them picture perfect. The photo drew me in and makes me want to plop one in my mouth now.

    • kathryn says:

      Thank you Norma, that’s always been my ultimate ambition with any picture I take so it’s great to hear that it works!

  29. I think your pictures are absolutely beautiful, and it is one of the reasons I enjoy reading your blog. I actually look up to for inspiration. These meringues are gorgeous and I think you captured them wonderfully. We are our own worst critics, but trust me, you are great at what you do!

  30. A good blog isn’t just about good pictures – it’s about engaging the reader into the story and you do just that. I love reading your blog and I think your pics are great. We can’t all be David Hockney! Also it gets super expensive buying all the darn props :)

    • kathryn says:

      Ha, so true Becs. Especially your last point… It certainly has been a lot healthier for my bank balance now that I’ve stopped trying to style every picture to death!

  31. Erin says:

    I think these are beautiful! And I always think your photos are beautiful too. :)

  32. Sophia says:

    These meringues are so beautiful – that blackberry puree against the white meringues looks dreamy! And as much as I come here for your writing I also come here for the photos. I love how you manage to capture the simple beauty of the ingredients and the individual steps for each recipe. Not that overly styled photos full of cute vintage props are easy but I do think this sort of minimal or naked styling that most photos on your blog have is much harder to get right and you get it so right, time and time again.

  33. Kathryn, I admire food photos of many different styles and love how they, as well as a blogger’s writing, tell me something about the individual. I’ve long thought that your photos are beautiful, drool-worthy and enviable and love that they reflect YOU. It’s great that you’ve learned not to try to squeeze yourself into a different mould!

    • kathryn says:

      Thank you Helen, I’m so glad that comes through in the photographs because it’s what I’ve always wanted but it’s not always easy to achieve!

  34. Joanne says:

    I tend to beat myself up a bit when it comes to my photos also…but who has the time to be plating things and creating a scene behind them!

    Also, I think that first photo is ridiculously stunning. So not sure WHAT you’re talking about. :P

  35. I absolutely love meringues and these are SO beautiful. I always love your pictures (really!) so keep up what you’re doing. =)

  36. It’s funny you say you don’t make/photograph “pretty” food when you have a beautiful food blog! You have a very distinct style to me, it’s definitely minimal and maybe the best adjective wouldn’t be “pretty” but you always have beautiful lighting and interesting composition. I think this makes your photos very personal and pretty :) I totally agree with instagram I sometimes wish my Iphone photos were good enough quality to post those instead!

  37. When you said you’re not good at taking pretty food pictures, I was waiting for the punch line, like.. but look at these beautiful ones! This is my first time to your blog but I think your photography is great! Everybody has their own style and it’s fun to experiment and see what feels right for YOU – but I think you’re doing just fine. Also, these look yummy :)

  38. Kasey says:

    I don’t know what you are talking about! Your photos are consistently gorgeous!!! xox

  39. never tried making meringues yet and gf ?!! I had no idea that is even a possibility!! Gorgeous pics as always!!

  40. Emma says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! And I love your minimal style!

  41. Alix says:

    I made these yesterday with raspberries instead blackberries and it was just fantastic– thanks so much! The tartness of the berries against the crisp meringue, the slight chewiness in the middle…

    It was also pretty easy and your directions were perfect; I will definitely be making these again.

  42. em says:

    You know those crazy billowy meringues you get in just about every single ‘artisan’ bakery? Well, if they just sold these, instead of those pastel coloured things with no taste, I think they’d find they’d be very successful. Basically Kathryn, if you wouldn’t mind supplying these beauts to every single food outlet in England i’d be VERY happy :) x

    Ps, pictures are absolutely beautiful, you are mental for hinting otherwise !

  43. Ashley says:

    These photos are GORGEOUS! And I think you are an excellent food photographer! I always enjoy your photos. xo

  44. Todd says:

    Outstanding!! These are truly works of art..

  45. Gorgeous!! Almost too beautiful to dig into!!

  46. I aways (always always always) admire your gorgeous shots, lady! And these meringues… whoa!

  47. amber says:

    This is my first visit to your blog, but I think your photography is beautiful. I think that there are all different types and style of food photography and styling, and different styles can all be good and appealing, it’s more about how it makes you feel and the idea and image you want to relay to the viewer. I like the immediacy of instagram, but I also like taking photos with my own camera. I like all different types. Were these meringues taken with your iphone or with a camera? They are so beautiful… I’m not sure I’ve ever had meringues, but they seem simple enough as long as you don’t over-whip or under-whip.

    Great post. And photos.

  48. Hilary says:

    These were a big success! Very pretty. I found it much easier and swirlier to swirl the blackberry through the meringue in the bowl rather than once portioned out. Love your honey tea loaf too.

  49. Emma says:

    I see these all over the internet and they never fail to catch my eye! Beautiful.

  50. Helen says:

    These are in the oven now. I assume you leave the door closed. They look wonderful. Thank you.

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