Vanilla Bean and Almond Meringues with Mixed Berry Sauce

 

Vanilla and almond meringues with a mixed berry sauce.
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.
Boating on the dam.
A red tractor on the farm.
The farm’s resident pooch waiting to join the tractor ride.
Sheep eating grass on a farm.
Our next door neighbours for the weekend.
Fresh free range farm eggs in a basket.
Fresh farm eggs for breakfast.
One sheep standing behind a fence.
Baa!

 

So back to our recipe, and this week I have chosen something inspired by our farm visit. These vanilla and almond meringues have the perfect texture in my opinion – a crisp, melt-in-the-mouth shell with a soft, marshmallowy centre. Add a spoonful of tart mixed berry sauce to balance the sweetness and a dollop of whipped cream and you have a gorgeous summer pud!
Vanilla bean meringues with ground almonds.
This is also a fabulous recipe to have on standby for this time of the year. A plate piled high with white meringues accompanied by a ruby sauce would not look out of place on a Christmas dessert table, and makes a delicious, light alternative to the traditional heavier puddings.

 

Vanilla bean meringues with ground almonds and berry sauce.
Vanilla bean meringues topped with ground almonds,
 

 

Cook’s notes – I prefer a more rustic looking meringue and I do this by using two tablespoons to drop the mixture onto the tray before baking. You could also pipe the meringue mixture if you like. Another tip is to draw 6-7cm circles on the back of your baking paper to help keep the meringues fairly even in size.

 

_________________________

VANILLA BEAN AND ALMOND MERINGUES 

with MIXED BERRY SAUCE

Makes 12 meringues

 
Aerial photo of vanilla bean meringues with almonds.



For the berry sauce:

3/4 cup mixed frozen berries
3 tbsp castor sugar 
1/4 tsp vanilla extract 

For the meringues:

3 large egg whites, room temperature
150g castor sugar
small pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 1/2 tbsp ground almonds
fresh cream to serve

Step 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.

Step 2.) Preheat your oven to 120°C and line a tray with baking paper.

Step 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.

Step 4.) Drop heaped tablespoons of the meringue mixture onto the prepared tray. Finally, sprinkle the ground almonds over the meringues.

Step 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.

Step 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.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Vanilla Bean and Almond Meringues with Mixed Berry Sauce

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