At this time of year we are starting to see Autumn make its gentle arrival.
With it comes an abundant offering from nature; the trees heavy with apples, hedgerows glistening with blackberries and the ripening elderberries beginning to appear.
There is a great harvest to be had and many ways to make use of this gorgeous bounty.
But let’s start with this …….
4 organic egg whites
200g Billington’s golden castor sugar
2 sharp, sweet red apples
Small handful of bashed hazelnuts or walnuts
2 handfuls of blackberries
Small handful of blackcurrants
1 sprig of elderberries, berries removed
1 tablespoon of butter
1 teaspoon of golden caster sugar
300ml double cream
Half a vanilla pod, seed scraped, or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (not essence)
Heat the oven to 120C.
Lightly grease a piece of parchment paper measuring around 35cm by 35cm and lay on a large baking tray.
Add the egg whites to a large bowl and using a hand mixer whisk until soft peaks are formed. Gradually add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition and continue whisking for about 6 minutes. You want a thick, smooth and glossy mix.
Spoon the meringue onto the parchment paper making a large round about 30cm across and 1.5 inches high with slightly raised sides.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 90C and gently bake for another 2 hours. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
In the meantime core and slice the apples and pears into 6 pieces each and gently caramelise them in the butter and sugar for around 10 minutes until cooked and golden but still firm, turning occasionally. Allow to cool.
Whisk the cream with the vanilla pods or essence until thick.
Spread over the base.
Arrange the apples and pears, blackberries and blackcurrants over the top. Then sprinkle over the hazelnuts or walnuts and elderberries.
A real showstopper for any table.