The meringue will not stiffen if the bowl is at all dirty/greasy. Make sure all your cooking utensils are clean and free from grease. Leaving the meringue to cool gradually will prevent cracks. Handle very carefully when removing meringue from paper backing and filling with cream and fruit. Serve as soon as poss to avoid a soggy bottom! Me range can be made a day or so in advance but don't fill centre until just before serving .