Meringue Roulade with Peach-Poached Raspberries and Almond Cream


It's April, several weeks into the beginning of spring and yet mercury refuses to do much to acknowledge the fact. Okay, today reached nearly 20*, but tomorrow it's predicted to be halved. The meteorologists must have gotten some whiff of the dire and desperate mood of the population, as for once they've refused to even hint from whence this persistent rain chill got itself blown in from, and we are left with no-one to blame and an increasingly careless attitude towards bikini season creeping ever closer.

I'm trying to stay cheerful while bundled up in layers of blankets and a cat, (Poppy got a little careless with her choice of napping sites and is currently firmly wrapped and lost somewhere in the region of my lower back - usefully, where that gap between jumper and trouser normally lets in a draft). I keep reminding myself of how thankful I'll be when all those I'm stalking on Facebook out of sun-envy look like leather alligators in 20 years. I may be wracked with rickets by July, but I will be porcelain skinned and wrinkle-free for a century.

And so while the temperatures refuse to budge much beyond 10*, this blog becomes much less about the importance of cloches and manure (does anyone doubt it?) and much more about the beguiling nature of recipes involving the word 'dollop'.

'...of cream?!'
Like this one, based a recipe by my secret BFF Nigel.

 Mr. Slater once again came good, this time with a delicious gooey, crinchy (combination of 'crunchy' and 'crispy', totally applicable where meringue is concerned) fruity roll of temptation. My fiddling with his genius came from over-tart raspberries (strictly seasonal foodies crow in triumph) and a lack of flaked almonds.

Again, I fail you with a total lack of finished product photos. I'd like to say it just didn't last long enough, but in fact it was HUGE and then I'd also have to gloss over the rather impressive warding off of inquisitive fingers with little more than a small wooden spoon and an empty cardboard kitchen roll.
No, it was more down to failing light and the limitations of an early model iphone camera.

Serves 8
You will need:

 for the meringue

6 egg whites
280g caster sugar
1 heaped tablespoon cornflour
teaspoon mild white wine vinegar

approx. 33 x 24 cm rectangular tin

 for the filling

handful toasted coconut flakes
juice from a tin of peaches
400g of tart raspberries, tayberries, strawberries or loganberries
300ml double cream
.5 tsp almond extract

Preheat the oven to 220*c/gas mark 7. Line the tin with non-stick kitchen foil moulding the foil up and over the sides. Brush lightly with flavourless cooking oil (I used sunflower) and set aside. 
Place a sheet of baking paper on a flat surface and sprinkle over with caster sugar. You'll tip out the meringue onto this later. 
Beat the egg whites, slowly adding the caster sugar until the meringue becomes light and fluffy. Add the cornflour and vinegar and stir gently till totally Incorporated then pour and spread the meringue mixture into the tin. Bake for ten minutes, using a baking shelf if the top is colouring too quickly, then lower the heat to 160* and bake for about fifteen minutes more, or until the top is a lovely golden brown. 
Once baked, remove from the oven, carefully tip out onto the sugar covered baking paper. Peel off the kitchen foil which came with it and leave to cool. 

While the meringue is baking, prepare the peach-poached raspberries. 
Rinse the raspberries and shake off any excess drips. Pour the peach juice into a shallow frying pan and boil until the juice has thickened

Pour the cream into a cool bowl and whisk until it just holds its shape. Add the almond extract very gently, starting out with just half of the amount above and adding more if you like. Half a teaspoon worked for me, but it's seriously potent stuff, so better too little than too much. 

Spread the almond cream over the meringue, going right out to the edges, then sprinkle over the toasted coconut flakes.

Mine stored in an bowl covered in clingfilm perfectly fine for a day in the fridge and was quickly eroded spoonful by spoonful by furtive fridge raiders.

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