Cuisine - - FIONA SMITH -

This clas­sic dessert is the per­fect end to a big meal, as it is light but sat­is­fy­ing. The pre­served lemon in the crème anglaise gives it an ex­otic North African flavour. ½ pre­served lemon 300ml dou­ble cream 750ml whole milk ½ tea­spoon vanilla paste 4 egg yolks 200g caster sugar ¼ cup skinned hazel­nuts or al­monds, toasted, coarsely

chopped ½ cup white sugar 3 egg whites 1 ta­ble­spoon Fresh As rasp­berry pow­der, plus ex­tra to serve 125g fresh rasp­ber­ries Dis­card the pith from the pre­served lemon and rinse the skin well. Chop very finely and set aside.

To make the creme anglaise, put the cream, 400ml of the milk and the vanilla paste in a saucepan and bring to just be­fore the boil.

Mean­while, put the egg yolks and 50g of the caster sugar in a large bowl and whisk un­til thick and pale.

Slowly pour the hot milk mix­ture into the eggs, whisk­ing con­tin­u­ously. Pour this mix­ture back into the saucepan, add the pre­served lemon (re­serv­ing a lit­tle for gar­nish) and heat very gen­tly, stir­ring con­stantly, for 10 min­utes or un­til thick­ened.

It is im­por­tant to do this slowly and gen­tly, as too much heat will scram­ble the mix­ture. If it starts to look a lit­tle sep­a­rated, re­move from the heat and whisk un­til smooth. You can pass it through a sieve when cool if you like.

Pour the crème anglaise into a bowl and cut a cir­cle of bak­ing pa­per to sit di­rectly on top – this will pre­vent a skin from form­ing. Cool and re­frig­er­ate un­til needed.

To make the praline, spread the nuts out on a piece of bak­ing pa­per. Put the white sugar in a saucepan with 2 ta­ble­spoons wa­ter and bring to the boil, stir­ring con­stantly, un­til the sugar dis­solves. Boil for 7-8 min­utes, with­out stir­ring, un­til the mix­ture turns golden.

Work­ing quickly, pour the tof­fee evenly over the nuts. Leave for 5 min­utes to har­den and cool. Break into pieces and store in an air­tight con­tainer. This will keep in a con­tainer for sev­eral days, but if the weather is muggy it is best to make it just be­fore serv­ing.

Just be­fore serv­ing, grind the praline in a food pro­ces­sor or chop finely.

To serve, whisk the egg whites un­til soft peaks form then con­tinue whisk­ing, slowly adding the re­main­ing 150g caster sugar a lit­tle at a time. Fi­nally whisk in the rasp­berry pow­der.

Heat the re­main­ing milk with 650ml wa­ter in a wide, shal­low saucepan un­til just sim­mer­ing. Float heaped ta­ble­spoons of the meringue in the milk to poach for 30 sec­onds, then flip over and poach the other side for 30 sec­onds. Re­move with a slot­ted spoon to a plate.

Di­vide the crème anglaise among 6 bowls and top with a meringue, some rasp­ber­ries, a lit­tle of the re­served pre­served lemon and a sprin­kle of praline and rasp­berry pow­der.

WINE A lus­cious, medium wine. Try the Giesen The Broth­ers Late Har­vest Sau­vi­gnon Blanc 2013. CRED­ITS Fume Con­crete bowls and plates from Tim Web­ber De­sign at Bloc; sea­grass coaster from Trade Aid; Pinti Inox Stonewashed cut­lery from Fa­ther Rab­bit; paint colours (Ea­gle, Birthday Suit, Smoke Tree and Wood­stock) from Re­sene. For full de­tails, see Cred­its In­dex.

Rasp­berry-spiked is­lands of meringue float­ing in pre­served lemon crème anglaise makes for a se­ri­ously im­pres­sive – and de­li­cious – fi­nale

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