Fathers Day this year was a lovely long lunch at my mums, we started with a beetroot soup, then had a warming beef pot roast & to finish with I made dessert. I had some egg whites in the freezer that were begging to be whipped into a meringue. I remembered this Jamie Oliver recipe that sounded perfect for this time of year. Normally I think of a pav/meringue as a summer cake, laden with tropical fruit & cream. This version however was smothered in roasted nuts, pears & a chocolate ginger sauce as well as the usual whipped cream. By the time you pile everything on it ends up being a pretty massive affair & to prove how much it was enjoyed, after 5 adults & the 2 kids dug in there was only a teeny piece left. We all felt sick of course but couldnt stop going back for more it was so good. So hope all the Dad's out there had a good day, for me that means, family, good food, nice wine & a nap on the couch after lunch as you are so full you cannot budge an inch! This is my crunchy entry for the cookbook challenge though after the topping went on the meringue wasnt really all that crunchy, oh well, I had good intentions.
Notes: I couldnt for the life of me get the skins of the nuts before they were roasted so I roasted them & peeled them afterwards which was much easier, any tips? Also, used pears in juice rather than syrup, sauce tasted good this way but maybe it would have been thicker & sticker if syrup used instead?
Tray Baked Meringue with Pears, Cream, Toasted Hazelnuts and Chocolate Sauce - Jamie Oliver - Jamie at Home
4 large egg whites
200g unrefined golden caster sugar
a pinch of sea salt
100g hazelnuts, skins removed
2 x 400g tins of halved pears in syrup
optional: 2 pieces of stem ginger, thinly sliced
200g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
400ml double cream
50g icing sugar, sifted
1 vanilla pod, halved & seeds scraped out
zest of 1 orange
Preheat oven to 180c. Line a 40 x 25cm baking tray with baking paper.
Put your egg whites into a squeaky clean bowl, whisk on medium until the whites form firm peaks then with the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and a pinch of salt. Turn the mixer up to high & whisk for about 7 to 8 minutes until white and glossy. Spoon the meringue on to the tray & shape it into an A4 size rectangle. Place in the oven & bake for 1 hour or until crisp on the outside & a little sticky inside. At the same time, bake the hazelnuts on a separate tray in the oven for an hour or until golden. Take our of oven when ready and allow to cool.
Drain the tin of pears, reserving the syrup from 1 can. Cut each pear half into 3 slices. Pour the pear syrup into a saucepan with the ginger and warm gently over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Take off the heat and snap the chocolate in to the pan, stirring until it's all melted.
To assemble, place your meringue on a board or tray. Whip the cream with the icing sugar & vanilla until it forms smooth, soft peaks. Smash or chop the toasted hazelnuts and sprinkle half of them over the meringue. Spoon half of the cream over the top & drizzle with some of the sauce. Divide most of the pears over the top evenly. Pile over the rest of the cream & pears. Drizzle with more chocolate sauce, then sprinkle over the remaining nuts & some grated orange zest. Serve straight away.