The recipe for Maria’s dessert from the recent Katie Grand party at JOE’S…
This recipe is so versatile. Try substituting plums or strawberries for the apricots and use rose water in the cream instead of orange flower water. Other fantastic flavours include raspberries, mint, lychees and pine nuts. Or just make it simple and fill with whipped cream and lemon curd.
For the meringue
4 egg whites
190g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon cornflour, sifted
For the filing
6 apricots, stoned and quartered
25g caster sugar
250g mascarpone cheese
175g Greek yoghurt
50g icing sugar
3 tablespoons orange flower water
25g pine nuts (optional)
2 pieces stem ginger, finely diced (optional)
6 mint leaves, shredded
To make the meringue, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400º F/Gas Mark 6. Line a 23 x 33 cm baking tray with parchment paper and lightly grease with oil.
In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gradually whisk in the caster sugar a little at a time and continue whisking until thick and glossy. Fold in the vanilla essence, vinegar and cornflour. Spread the meringue evenly into the prepared baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, them lower the temperature to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas Mark 3 and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Dust another sheet of parchment paper with icing sugar.
Remove the meringue from the oven and leave to cool for 2-3 minutes on the tray, before turning out onto the second piece of parchment paper.
Cool for a further 5 minutes, then gently peel off the first sheet of parchment paper from the top of the meringue. Roll up on the meringue from the long side until ready for use.
To make the filling, heat a large frying pan, toss the apricots in the caster sugar and add to the pan with a splash of water. Cook for 3 minutes over a high heat until soft. Remove the apricots from the pan and leave to cool.
Put the ginger, mascarpone, yoghurt, icing sugar and orange flower water in a bowl and whisk together until thick. Unroll the meringue, spread the mascarpone mix over the surface, top with apricots, sprinkle with pine nuts and shredded mint leaves and roll up again, using the paper to help you. Refrigerate until required, then serve in slices, dusted with icing sugar.
Note: If apricots are out of season, use organic dried ones. Soak them in some hot water, then chop. Or if you want to be really extravagant, soak them in warm Sauternes. Also note, the quality of rose and orange flower waters can vary considerably. Look out for the Cortas brand, which you’ll find in Middle Eastern supermarkets- its flavour is so much more intense.
Recipe from The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Elia. Published by Kyle Cathie Ltd.