For me this dessert has everything that you would want in summer pud. Fresh in season Strawberries, vanilla infused cream and light meringue with the extra texture of crunchy Pistachios and white chocolate. This dessert is really easy to make but looks fantastic...and tastes even better! This is perfect pud for those Summer nights eating in the garden with friends.
400 g strawberries
150 g caster sugar
100 g white chocolate, roughly chopped
80 g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
3 large eggs, the whites only
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp icing sugar
200 ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
What to do:
Preheat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put the egg whites in to a mixer (or you can just use a large bowl) and whisk to soft, shiny peaks. Then gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time ( this is to make sure the sugar is fully incorporated into the egg whites). Whisk well after each spoon full of sugar. Add the cornflour and vinegar, again make sure its mixed in well. Whisk until the mixture is really stiff, and very shiny the mixture should be stand up in peaks once you lift out the whisk. (please see pictures below)
Remember to use fresh free range eggs, definitely makes a difference!
Remove the bowl from the mixer and add in the white chocolate and most of the pistachios ( leave some to one side for decoration), gently fold in the mixture with a big metal spoon. Once folded together spoon out six dollops onto the tray. Make a small dip in each one in the center, (this is so the cream and strawberries can sit nicely on top and not slide off the side)
Reduce the oven temperature to 140C/120C fan/gas 1.
Cook the meringues for 45 minutes, then switch off the oven and open the door to allow the meringues to cool down completely.
Mash 5 strawberries and the icing sugar together until the strawberries are broken down and the mixture has combined. Whip the cream until thick, add the vanillia extract, then add the crushed strawberries. (Don't mix the strawberries with the cream instead create a swirl.).
To finish add the cream to the top of the meringue scatter a few chopped strawberries on the cream and then add the remainder of the pistachios, and the mint leaf.
Photos by Matt Grice
Recipe by Bill Granger