A perfectly crisp meringue, with a marshmallow centre, topped with gently whipped vanilla-scented cream, and sweet and tangy nectarines.
By Candice Le Noury
Sometimes you find a recipe, and you just know that you won’t need to try another ever again. For me, this is the last meringue recipe I’ll ever try. I know that sounds really awful, especially for someone who loves being in the kitchen so much, but this gives me perfect results every time – and I thought I’d share it with you too. The secret of its success lies in a few, small changes made to an otherwise standard recipe – and the results are amazing.
This is a fantastically versatile recipe, and almost any fruit can be used instead of nectarines – stone fruit will work best, but you could even use orange or citrus fruit segments, and I still think it would taste spectacular. Make this for your next lazy Saturday lunch, and prepare to have everyone swooning at your feet.
- 225g (8 oz) caster or granulated sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 6 nectarines (or plums, peaches - any other stone fruit)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 250ml (9 oz) cream
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
- Heat your oven to 150 degrees Celcius (300 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the egg whites and all of the sugar in a heat proof bowl. Heat a saucepan full of water on the stove, and when simmering, place your bowl of egg whites and sugar on top of the saucepan of water - making sure the water doesn't reach the heat proof bowl.
- Stirring the egg whites constantly, allow them to become just warm, and the sugar to mostly dissolve.
- Using an electric beater, beat the egg white and sugar mixture until thick, glossy peaks have formed - this will take about 5 - 7 minutes.
- Sprinkle in your teaspoon of cornflour, and beat again for a minute until combined.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, and spoon your meringue mixture into 6 equal mounds. Place in the oven and bake for 90 minutes. Then turn the oven off, and leave the meringues to cool inside the oven.
- Cut your choice of fruit in half, and remove the stone in the centre. Place your butter and sugar in a saucepan, and allow to melt and simmer - about 1 minute.
- Place your fruit in the saucepan with the tablespoon of water, and allow to caramelise for about 5 minutes - the edges of the fruit should become a dark golden colour, and quite sticky.
- Place the cream and vanilla seeds in a bowl, and whisk until soft peaks form - the cream should gently hold its shape, but eventually be able to gently tumble down the side of your meringue mounds
- To assemble, place your meringues on a platter, and dollop with the vanilla bean cream, making sure each meringue has a generous dollop on top. Scatter with the caramelised nectarines and the leftover syrup from the pan.