|Recipe By:||Jane-Anne Hobbs|
|Cooking Time :||12 hours|
|Cook's Tips :||The secret, apart from very long and patient whisking, is to dry the meringues out overnight in very low oven. This may seem like a long time to wait for dessert, but the end result will not disappoint you.|
|Prep Time :||30 minutes|
|Serving Suggestion :||Serve immediately, with lashings of thick Jersey cream.|
- 5 extra-large free-range eggs
- 1 pinch cream of tartar
- 250 g castor sugar, plus extra for dipping the pastry shapes
- 250 g Cape gooseberries
- 50 g Cape gooseberries
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder, for dusting
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder, for dusting
- 150 g strawberries, hulled and halved
- icing sugar, for dusting
- fresh Ayrshire cream
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- Heat the oven to 55ºC and turn the fan off.
- Separate the eggs, placing the egg whites in a spotlessly clean metal bowl. Wipe the inside of the metal bowl with a slice of lemon to remove any grease spots, then dry thoroughly using a clean kitchen towel. To avoid a speck of egg yolk ruining all the egg whites, separate the eggs one by one into two small bowls, then add the whites one by one to the big metal bowl. Add a pinch of cream of tartar. (Keep the yolks for making mayonnaise!)
- Using an electric whisk or a food processor fitted with a balloon whisk, beat the egg whites for at least 7 minutes, or until they are standing up in very stiff, dry peaks.
- Trickle the caster sugar into the egg whites, a few tablespoons at a time, beating well between every addition. Continue beating for another 5 minutes, or until the meringue is very thick and glossy, and easily holds its shape. You will know the meringue is ready when you place a big blob on a plate and it does not flop over or subside – it should perfectly hold its shape.
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper (put a little blob of meringue on all four corners of the sheet so the paper sticks to it).
- Using two large spoons, scoop out an apple-sized ball of meringue and carefully place it on the baking paper, pulling the meringue upwards to form it into a billowing cloud. Repeat until you’ve used up all the meringue, spacing the balls well apart.
- Place the baking sheet in the middle of the oven and leave the meringues to dry out overnight, or for at least 10 hours, without disturbing them. The longer you leave them, the dryer their centres will be. Store the meringues, once cool, in an air-tight container.
- Take half of the gooseberries and whizz them to a fine purée. Taste the purée, and stir in a little icing sugar if you’d like it sweeter. Chill.
- Purée half the raspberries in the same way, then strain the mixture through a sieve, pressing down well with the back of a spoon. Taste the coulis and sweeten, if necessary, with a little icing sugar. Discard the pulp and chill.
- To plate the dessert, decant the two purées into two little jugs. Holding a jug in each hand, simultaneously pour two puddles on to a dessert plate, gently flooding it so the different-coloured purées meet in the middle. Leave the plates to stand for an hour or two, if you’d like a graduated sunset effect – the line between the two colours will gradually blur.
- Top each lake of purée with a crisp meringue, and decorate with the remaining gooseberries, raspberries and strawberries.
- Sieve a little icing sugar over each plate and serve immediately, with lashings of thick Jersey cream.