Next in the rose series is a dusky rose meringue with a gorgeous golden apricot compote. Meringue is not as difficult to make as it’s sometimes made out to be. The key thing is just allowing it to cool completely before taking it out of the oven, overnight even if you can afford the time.
The rose flavour suits meringue beautifully, mixing in with the sugar to create a really sweet and romantic smell. The apricot compote also means you can skip the cream with this meringue recipe, the compote keeps the dessert from being dry but is also light enough to serve after a heavy meal.
We’ve taken Nigella Lawson’s chocolate meringue recipe and modified it. Why totally re-invent the wheel when there’s already an excellent recipe to draw from!
Serves 8 (larger portions) and 10 (smaller portions)
Prep time: 20-25 minutes Cooking time: 1hr 20 mins Rest time: At least 3 hrs
6 large egg whites
300 g caster sugar
2 tbsp rose water
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
60g caster sugar
1 tbsp rose water
Caramelised apricots (for topping):
3 large apricots or 5 small ones, sliced
1 tbsp butter
4 tbsp caster sugar
Splash of orange juice
Turn the oven on to 180 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper. We used a rectangular one as that’s all we had, you can use whatever you have!
Start with the topping first. So, on another baking tray, lay out the apricots you’ve sliced up for the caramelised apricot topping. Put aside for a few minutes. Next, put a pan on medium heat and let it get hot, add the butter and when it melts, add in the sugar and allow it to caramelise. Add the orange juice and stir well. Pour this over the apricots in the tray and toss and then pop in the oven for 8 minutes or until you get a lovely browning on the apricot. Set aside.
For the meringue now, beat the egg whites until they form smooth peaks. Now, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and keep beating until the mix is stiff and satiny. Now add the rose water, one tablespoon at a time and then the vinegar. Gently scoop up the pillowy mixture and mound it in a circle onto the baking sheet. Once you’ve piled everything up, smooth the sides and top down.
Put it in the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 150 degrees celsius. Bake for 1 to 1hour and 15 minutes or until the top and edges are properly crisp and dry but when you gently push it, you should feel it’s still soft inside. Turn the oven off and leave the door open for the meringue to cool completely.
For the compote, put a pot on medium heat. Pour in the water, add the sugar and allow it to dissolve. Add the chopped up apricots and cook over a gentle heat until it is soft and starts to look like it’s of jam consistency. Add the rosewater and stir it in. If you prefer it chunkier, that’s fine too, just cook for less time, till you get the consistency you want. if you end up with tart apricots, you might want to add more sugar. You can do this after you get the consistency you want, just taste and add accordingly, mix it in well and allow it to dissolve over low heat.
Once you’re ready to serve, carefully peel the meringue off the baking paper and spoon the compote over. Place the caramelised apricots on the top, browned side up and for a bit of a burst of colour, sprinkle some crushed pistachios over it.
x Anu & Suba