At the end of November we packed our bags and headed out of the burbs for a weekend in the Overberg. This was a welcome break after a busy few weeks on the home and work fronts, plus a chance to spend some quality family time together. Our destination was a farm called Landmeterskop near Stanford and were invited to join some good friends who had been there before. What a gem of a place!
We stayed in the spacious and comfortable homestead surrounded by beautiful mountains, grazing sheep and the sounds of nature. The farm is a fabulous family destination and the children had the opportunity to feed the animals each morning and evening, milk the goats and go on a tractor ride. The grown ups enjoyed being able to switch off (there was hardly any signal on the farm) and some amazing star gazing in the evenings. Another highlight of the weekend was being able to collect fresh free range eggs in the mornings to enjoy for breakfast. Which brings me to this week’s recipe… but first, here are a few snaps from our trip.
|Boating on the dam.|
|The farm’s resident pooch waiting to join the tractor ride.|
|Our next door neighbours for the weekend.|
|Fresh farm eggs for breakfast.|
VANILLA BEAN AND ALMOND MERINGUES WITH MIXED BERRY SAUCE
For the berry sauce:
- ¾ cup mixed frozen berries
- 3 tbsp castor sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
For the meringues:
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 150g castor sugar
- small pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1½ tbsp ground almonds
- fresh cream to serve
1.) Prepare the sauce by combining the berries and sugar in a small saucepan. Stir over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar, then boil gently for 8 mins, stirring regularly, until thick and syrupy. Stir in vanilla extract and leave to cool completely. Whizz in a food processor until smooth.
2.) Preheat your oven to 120°C and line a tray with baking paper.
3.) Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. Gradually add the castor sugar (about one tablespoon at a time) while beating, and beat well between each addition. Whisk in the salt and vanilla paste.
4.) Drop heaped tablespoons of the meringue mixture onto the prepared tray. Finally, sprinkle the ground almonds over the meringues.
5.) Bake the meringues for 1 hour. Switch the oven off but leave the door closed, and allow the meringues to dry out for a further hour.
6.) Serve the meringues with fresh cream and the berry sauce. Store any leftovers in an airtight container. The sauce should be stored in the fridge.