Layer fruit and ladyfingers: Mix fruit, vanilla extract (or liqueur), and sugar. Place the ladyfingers in a square mold (I used a 6" x 9" [15 x 22 cm] one). Spread the fruit on top of the ladyfingers in an even layer. Chill for an hour, the ladyfingers will soak in some of the fruit juice in the meantime.
Layer ice cream: When it's time to serve, take the ice cream out of the freezer. Spread the ice cream on top of the fruit, careful to keep an even layer. If the ice cream is too hard, wait a couple of minutes for it to soften a bit. Freeze for 30 minutes to re-harden the ice cream.
Layer meringue: make the meringue (per recipe in the link above) in the meantime. Once the 30 minutes have passed, cover the ice cream with the meringue.
Decorate and serve: Immediately after making the meringue layer, decorate with fruits, and serve right away.
I used an equal mixture of canned peaches, fresh strawberries and fresh, pitted cherries for the fruit. Whichever fruit you use, make sure they taste well together, and are very soft.For decoration, I used pitted cherries (the type that comes in jars), and some leftover strawberries. Get creative!If you want to use whipped cream instead of meringue (the meringue makes the ice cream a lot airier, I love it with ice cream), you can use the appropriate steps in this recipe.If you are serving only grownups, Add ¼ cup of dark rum or your favorite liqueur to the fruit instead of using vanilla extract. Pick a liqueur that goes well with the other flavors.If you want to prepare this dessert a couple of hours in advance, prepare the meringue beforehand and keep covered in the fridge, along with the ladyfingers covered with fruit. Don't freeze for more than 30 minutes, otherwise, the fruit will freeze hard too, and that definitely does not work.