Family gatherings at my Mom's house tend to revolve around food. Last month's meet up was no exception - we made the journey up to Warwickshire to spend the weekend with our extended family and, of course, spent most of the time in the kitchen!
We were all getting together to see my brother and sister-in-law for the first time since their wedding in August, so it felt like a bit of a special occasion. There was a big dessert-shaped gap in the plans for the weekend, so on the Saturday morning, Mom (I may live down south but my parents are midlanders, so she's 'Mom' not 'Mum'!) and I got out the recipe books, looking for inspiration. We wanted to make something that would work alongside the dinner she'd planned for Saturday night - a lamb tagine recipe from Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour.
We stumbled upon a gorgeous looking recipe in The Ottolenghi Cookbook for pistachio and rosewater meringues, which sounded amazing. Who doesn't love a famous Ottolenghi meringue?! But oh my goodness, his meringue recipe is complicated! We honestly couldn't be bothered to heat the sugar in the oven and we definitely couldn't wait more than 2 hours for it to cook! So we stuck to our usual simple meringue method (detailed below), simply adding the rosewater for flavour. We were craving something fruity and creamy too, so we thought we'd layer some vanilla cream, mango and raspberries on top.
The rosewater meringue is absolutely delicious! Such a delicate flavour, which is really complimented by the nutty, fruity topping. You could easily change up the fruit - figs would be a perfect!
Mom and I totally over-catered, as usual...This dessert was enormous!! It would easily feed 10-12!
You will need...
For the topping:
600ml double cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 small mangoes
1 punnet raspberries
100g chopped pistachios
100g flaked almonds
For the meringue:
8 egg whites
465g caster sugar
1.5 tsp rosewater
1. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees and line a large baking tray with lightly greased parchment paper
2. Whisk the egg whites in a large, clean bowl, until you have stiff peaks
3. Whisk in the sugar, one spoon at a time, finally adding the rosewater
4. Spoon the meringue mixture onto the baking tray, spreading it out evenly and bake in the oven for about 1 hour and allow to cool completely (in the oven, if you have time) before transferring onto a serving platter
5. Add the vanilla extract to the cream and beat into soft peaks
6. Spoon onto the meringue, spreading it out evenly and layer the mango, pistachios, almonds and raspberries over the top
With its gorgeous christmassy tones and soft delicate flavour, this would be a perfect alternative to the traditional festive dessert.
If you like this kind of recipe, check out the cookbooks we used for inspiration... Definitely worth a browse!