Fresh fruit with warm spices and hazelnut meringue bliss
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tam West
This early spring dessert looks pretty served in a glass. Use fruit of your choice, but make sure it is super fresh. I used green and gold kiwifruit, melon, pineapple and medjool dates.
Fresh fruit with spices
|4 whole||Black peppercorns|
|1||Cinnamon stick, 2.5cm|
|2 pieces||Orange peel, or lime rind, pared|
|1 stalk||Lemongrass, about 10cm, crushed|
|4 slices||Fresh ginger, thin|
|1 small handful||Mint leaves, shredded or, if small, left whole|
|4 servings||Mixed fruit, cut; I used green and gold kiwifruit, pineapple and melon|
Hazelnut meringue bites (makes about 20)
- For the fruit: Place the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring slowly to the boil, allowing the sugar to dissolve. Remove from the heat and add the cloves, peppercorns, star anise, vanilla, cinnamon, orange rind, lemongrass and ginger. Leave until cold to allow the flavours to mingle.
- When the syrup is cold, strain into a jug, cover and place in the fridge to chill.
- Place prepared fruit in four glasses and pour over some of the infused syrup. Top with the mint. Serve with hazelnut meringue bites.
- To make the meringue: Heat the oven to 150C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the caster sugar until you have a stiff, shiny meringue.
- Carefully fold in the hazelnuts and vanilla. Place dessertspoonfuls on the prepared tray, leaving space between each.
- Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until crisp. Make sure they are crisp or they will be a bit sticky. If they are browning too quickly, lower the oven temperature and bake for longer. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray. Once cold, store in an airtight container.