Almond pavlovas with amaretto custard, apricots and caramel sauce
- May 2018
- Serves 8
- Hands-on time 45 min, oven time one hour 15 min, plus cooling and chilling
We’ve added ground almonds to the meringue for a chewier and nuttier twist. Top with the caramelised apricots, caramel sauce, boozy custard and toasted almond flakes. You know it’s going to be good…
If you like this, you’ll love our Swedish almond cake.
- 26g (10.7g saturated)
- 47.5g (45.4g sugars)
- 75g blanched almonds
- 3 medium free-range egg whites
- 100g caster sugar
- 75g light brown soft sugar
- 50g toasted flaked almonds
For the custard
- 300ml whipping cream
- 3 medium free-range egg yolks
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 50ml amaretto
For the apricots & caramel sauce
- 400g tin apricots in syrup
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- Grated zest and juice ½ lime
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Spread the almonds out on a baking tray and roast for 12-15 minutes. Cool completely, then whizz coarsely in a food processor (be careful not to over-process the nuts or they’ll turn oily and cause your meringue to collapse). If you don’t have a food processor chop the nuts very finely with a sharp knife. Turn down the oven temperature to 120°C/100°C fan/gas ½.
- Using a saucer or small bowl, draw 4 x 10cm circles on 2 sheets
of non-stick baking paper (8 circles in total). Turn over and put on top
of 2 baking sheets.
- Put the egg whites (reserve the yolks for the custard) in a large clean heatproof bowl with both sugars. Using an electric hand mixer, whisk briefly to combine. Set over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl) and whisk on a medium speed for 6-8 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is thick and glossy. Remove from the heat and continue whisking until cool.
- Using a metal spoon, mix the chopped almonds through the meringue. Using the drawn circles as a guide, spoon 8 x 10cm meringue nests onto the lined baking trays. Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the oven (don’t open the door) and leave the meringues to cool inside the oven for another hour.
- For the custard, heat the cream in a saucepan until steaming. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, caster sugar, cornflour and amaretto, then pour the warmed cream into the bowl in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pan and put over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring all the time, until thickened. Strain through a sieve into a clean bowl and cover with a piece of cling film touching the surface to prevent a skin forming. Cool, then chill until cold and thick.
- For the apricots, drain them and reserve the syrup. Heat a small frying pan over a medium-high heat until very hot. Add the caster sugar in a single layer, then shake the pan until the sugar has dissolved. Bubble the melted sugar to make
a deep amber caramel, then remove from the heat and add 2 tbsp of the reserved apricot syrup, the lime juice and vanilla bean paste (be careful as it may spit). Return to the heat and warm through gently. Add the apricot halves and lime zest, then stir to coat and warm through. Leave to cool before serving or cool completely before packing.
- Serve the meringues topped with spoonfuls of thick custard, the apricots and caramel sauce and sprinkled with flaked almonds.
Keep the meringues, custard and apricots in separate containers (custard is best kept in the fridge or in a cool bag) and the flaked almonds in a small food bag.
Use any seasonal fresh fruit you fancy to top these pavlovas (fresh raspberries would taste great). Replace the syrup from the tin of apricots with some apple juice or water.
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