Rose meringue with apple curd and toasted almonds
As pavlova proves meringue is a great foil for fresh fruit and a good way to use up the leftover egg whites from making this apple curd. Here are my tricks for meringues: First, use egg whites cold from the fridge. They whip to a stiffer texture as the proteins in the egg white are more stable when cold. Second, make sure your sugar has dissolved. Taste a small spoonful - if there is any grittiness keep mixing until smooth.
Citrus and apple power: Rose meringues with apple curd and toasted almond. Photo: Marcel Aucar
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500g granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
7 tbsp water
3 lemons, zested and juiced
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar plus extra to taste if needed
125g butter, cut into cubes
3 large egg whites
175g castor sugar
1 tsp cornflour (check gluten-free if required)
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp rose water
200ml thickened cream, whipped to soft peaks
100g flaked almonds, toasted
For apple curd
Put the chopped apples into a pan with the water and lemon zest. Cook gently until soft and fluffy, then either beat to a puree with a wooden spoon or run through a food processor.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid, add the apple and set on low to medium heat. When warm, add the butter and heat slowly until it melts, then add a cup of lemon juice. Stir using a whisk or spoon on a low heat. It takes about 15 minutes for it to thicken, stir it every so often.
Remove from the heat, put the lid on and let it continue to thicken. When cool, place in a container in the fridge.
Makes about 350ml
Heat the oven to 140C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat on a low speed for 1 minute, then increase the speed to medium and whisk for 2-3 minutes, or until the egg whites form fairly stiff but still moist-looking peaks. If you lift the beater out of the bowl, the mixture should look fluffy and cling to the beaters.
Continue to whisk, gradually adding the sugar a tablespoon at a time until it has all been added and the mixture is stiff and glossy – this may take 5-10 minutes.
Gently fold in the cornflour, vinegar and rose water with a metal spoon, using large, gentle strokes, turning the bowl as you go. Continue until evenly distributed.
Using large metal spoons, spoon eight free-form shapes on to the prepared trays. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the meringue is pale and dry, turning the trays 180 degrees after 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the meringue to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.
To serve, place each meringue on a plate, top with a spoonful of curd, then a small spoonful of cream and sprinkle with toasted almonds.
TIP: When making meringues, make sure all the equipment is clean and free of any oil or grease or it will stop the egg whites expanding.