Welcome to the penultimate recipe in our ‘Mad Meringue Week’ and this one is a little beauty, a stunning combination of flavours and textures and from my favourite book ‘Love Bake Nourish’. I couldn’t go the whole week without creating one of Amber Roses gorgeous recipes for you all to enjoy.
This meringue is a bit of a show stopper, no summer soiree is complete without the perfect pavlova, the advantage is that you can make the pavlova in advance, store it in an airtight container and then dress it to perfection just before serving on the day, using stunning seasonal fruits and edible flowers for that WOW factor.
This stunning pavlova gives you the gorgeous fragrance from the orange blossom water, sweetness from the meringue, a gorgeous crunch from the almonds and then the juicy ripe peaches just finish it all off perfectly. I have to admit this is a heaven sent dessert and has to be one of my favourites, it feels so wholesome and nutritious, knowing that you have used unrefined golden caster sugar instead of the usual white, gorgeous maple syrup instead of sugar to sweeten the cream and of course the peaches are one of your five a day.
Of course I am not claiming that this is completely virtuous but with all of Amber Roses recipes, using certain selected ingredients, really thinking about the quality of what you are using, where it has come from, does make a huge difference.
So today you may only have one recipe but it is a gorgeous one and like I said, perfect for this time of year when there is so much seasonal fresh fruit to hand, but like all of my recipes you can use the pavlova base in so many ways, in the autumn and winter why not try poached fruit served on top, add a little spice to compliment your chosen fruit and you are onto a winner, but for now enjoy the summer while it lasts.
For the meringue
40g blanched almonds
2 teaspoons cornflour
2 teaspoons organic cider vinegar
5 large free-range egg whites
Pinch of salt
200g unrefined golden caster sugar
2 teaspoons orange blossom water, or to taste
For the topping
300ml double cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
600g perfectly ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
100g flaked almonds, toasted
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and draw on a 25cm circle, usually a dinner plate is just the right size.
Put the almonds in a single layer on a small baking tray and roast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, make sure you keep an eye on them as they burn really quickly, I have been caught out many times !!! Set aside to cool and then roughly chop them.
Turn the oven up to 200C.
Mix the cornflour and cider vinegar until thoroughly combined and lump free.
In a large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until stiff peaks form, then add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, alternating with small amounts of the vinegar mix, until everything is thoroughly combined. The meringue should be thick, smooth, glossy and when rubbed between two fingers, grain free.
Fold in the orange blossom water, spoon onto the baking parchment and make a nest shape with in the circle diameter. A large metal spoon and a spatula are great for this , I use the spatula to smooth the meringue out across the circle then use the spoon to put large blobs around the outside.
When the nest is ready, sprinkle with the roasted chopped almonds, place the meringue into the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 100C. Bake the meringue for 2 hours. Then turn the oven off after the 2 hours are up and leave the door slightly ajar, allowing the meringue to completely cool inside.
When cooled and you are ready to serve, whip the cream until soft peaks form, fold through the maple syrup and vanilla extract to taste. Place the meringue on to a pretty serving plate or stand, spoon the cream into the centre and arrange the sliced peaches on top. Sprinkle with toasted flaked almonds.