Fruit-filled meringue roulade:

Fruit-filled meringue roulade:

PICTURE 30

Oooh lovely!  One of my all-time favourites!

This Super-Scrummy and totally impressive pud resembles a Pavlova, but it’s all rolled up!  You can use any fruit that you like but it lends itself to soft fruits like strawberries, raspberries, loganberries, blackberries (especially the free ones that you can get out of the hedgerow – see Tricks’n’Tips).

Prep:           20 mins.

Cooking:      1 hour.

Course:        Dessert

Serves:         4-6  (It’s supposed to be 8, but that would be super-mean!)

Rating:         3:  Moderate – The difficult-ish bit is rolling it up.

Find:

  • 5 large egg whites (to separate eggs, see Tricks’n’Tips)
  • 1 pint pot of double cream
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2tsp cornflour, ready sieved
  • A little white/red wine vinegar
  • Icing sugar, to facilitate rolling and for decoration
  • 250g raspberries and / or other soft-ish fruits

Method

  • Pre-heat your oven to 160°C, gas mark 3 at least ten minutes before you need to use it, because it is very important to have it to temperature before the meringue goes in.
  • Line a low-sided oven tin (the sort you need for doing a Swiss roll….hey, that’s a point, why is a Swiss roll called a Swiss roll? Must look into it!) with baking or silicone paper, leaving a 5cm (2”) hanging over the edge to get hold of after it’s cooked.
  • Put the egg whites and just a tiny splash of vinegar into a mixing bowl. Use a balloon whisk and lots of energy, or an electric whisk to do the hard work for you.
  • Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then carefully and slowly whisk in the caster sugar, a little at a time, until the meringue mixture is quite stiff and glossy. Now you can whisk in the cornflour.
  • Plop the resulting white stuff into the lined tin with a spatula (or, if you have one, a palette knife…. Ok, if you don’t know what a palette knife is, you probably haven’t got one….just carry on with the spatula) and spread it evenly to the edges, as flat as you can, but don’t overwork it as you need to keep the air in the mixture. When it’s flat, just make a few peaks for decoration.
  • Pop it in the oven and cook for somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes (use your eyes!), then take it out, stand it on something that will allow air above and below the tin (a ventilated heat mat or a cooling rack of some sort – the top of a gas cooker will do fine) and allow it to cool.
  • Turn the meringue out (so that the moist, paper-clad underside is facing upwards) onto another sheet of baking paper (or greaseproof) that has been sprinkled with sieved icing sugar.
  • Carefully peel off the baking paper from the underside. You’ll soon discover the best way of peeling it off without tearing the meringue.
  • Whip up the double cream to soft peaks and spread evenly over the meringue, leaving about 2cm (2”) on the long side away from you.
  • Artistically chuck the fruit evenly over the cream then carefully roll it up using the paper to persuade it to roll – it will be DISASTROUS if you try to roll it with your fingers.
  • Pop it on a serving platter with a twee doily below it. The join should be underneath.  Scatter the rest of the fruit (with equal flair and panache) all around the platter.
  • Slice it with a knife that has been in a jug of boiling water, to aid cutting this fragile delight. Then savour every delicious mouthful!

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