Roast plum pavlova

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - FOOD -

WHAT YOU’LL NEED For the roast plums: 6 sprigs of tar­ragon 1kg sea­sonal plums, halved and de-stoned 40g golden caster sugar For the meringue: 5 large egg whites (about 175g) 350g caster sugar (or twice the weight of the egg whites) 70g toasted flaked al­monds To fin­ish: 600ml dou­ble cream 2tsp vanilla ex­tract Leaves from 2 sprigs of tar­ragon 15g toasted flaked al­monds METHOD 1. Pre­heat the oven to 200C fan/220C/425F/ gas mark 7. 2. Place the tar­ragon sprigs for the roast plums in the base of a ce­ramic dish or roast­ing tin with 150ml wa­ter. Lay the plums over th­ese, cut side up, ide­ally in one layer. Sprin­kle the sugar on to the plums, mac­er­ate for 15 min­utes, then bake in the oven for 20-30 min­utes, un­til soft and puffy but still plum-shaped. Leave to cool for 15 min­utes, then trans­fer the plums, juices and tar­ragon to a smaller ves­sel and re­frig­er­ate un­til re­quired. 3. Weigh the egg whites. You will need dou­ble the quan­tity of sugar to whites to make a clas­sic meringue, and ide­ally a stand mixer fit­ted with the bal­loon whisk to do the hard work. Set the oven to 130C fan/150C/300F/gas mark 2 and line a bak­ing sheet with bak­ing parch­ment or a sil­i­cone bak­ing mat. 4. En­sure the mix­ing bowl is spot­less. Add the egg whites and whisk at medium speed un­til they form stiff peaks. In­crease the speed and sprin­kle the sugar into the egg whites in a steady stream. Con­tinue whisk­ing for nine min­utes, un­til the mix­ture is glossy and, if pinched, has no hint of sug­ary crys­tals. 5. Scat­ter 35g toasted al­monds over the meringue mix­ture. Use a large metal spoon to care­fully rip­ple through the nuts in just two or three large swoops. Spoon the mix­ture on to the lined bak­ing sheet creat­ing a cir­cle 26-28cm in di­am­e­ter, with high, wavy sides and an in­dent for cream and fruit in the mid­dle. Place in the cen­tre of the oven, re­duce the oven tem­per­a­ture to 110C fan/130C/250F/ gas mark ƒ and bake for two hours, then turn the oven off and leave for one hour more. 6. Re­move the meringue from the oven and sprin­kle a fur­ther 35g of al­monds on top. Whip the cream and vanilla ex­tract in a bowl un­til they reach ‘loose rib­bon’ stage, then spoon on top of the meringue. Ar­range the plums and juices over the cream, then scat­ter with fresh tar­ragon and the re­main­ing al­monds. SERVES 6-8

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