Heat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4. Draw 6 small circles on a sheet of baking parchment and put it with the drawn side down on a baking sheet. Whisk the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks then whisk in 250g sugar in large spoonfuls until you have a stiff, shiny meringue mixture. Whisk in the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla. Dollop the mixture out on to the circles on the parchment and make dips in the centre.

Bake for 10 minutes then turn the oven down to 120c/fan 100c/gas half, for an hour – the meringue should be a very pale biscuit colour. Cool a little then carefully peel off the paper and put the meringue on a serving plate.

While the meringue is cooking, put ¾ of the blackberries and the rest of the sugar in a pan and cook for a few minutes over low heat until the blackberries begin to soften and give up their juice and the sugar dissolves. Add the liqueur if you are using it. Cool, then stir in the uncooked blackberries. Once the meringues are cool, spoon cream into the dips in the centre, then spoon over the blackberries.

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