Meringue roulade with gooseberries in elderflower syrup

One of the most requested AGA recipes we receive is for meringue.  Swiss meringues to be sandwiched together with thick Jersey cream, can be made in a similar fashion to conventional recipes but a meringue roulade with a classic crunch and ‘marshmallowy’ centre is slightly different in a cast-iron stove.  As with many AGA recipes you need to start in one oven and transfer during cooking.

We are fortunate to keep some hens and you may recall that I shared my excitement of their arrival last August.  A gift from fellow ‘Great Taste Awards’ judge that were also accompanied by half a dozen gooseberry bushes dug straight from the ground and ready to transplant. The plants were overwintered in the green house and in early March we prepared a patch for them outside.

Just like the hens they have thrived and we have been rewarded with a first crop of fruit.  A handful of berries but just enough to be topped and tailed then gently poached in elderflower infused syrup. So using homegrown ingredients, we have created this combination of sweet dairy indulgence coupled with the sharpness of early summer fruit straight from the garden.

AGA Method

For six-eight portions you need:

5 medium free range egg whites

275g (10oz) caster sugar

Icing sugar for rolling

Filling

300 ml (half pint) double cream whipped to soft peaks

Gooseberry compote (see recipe)

A Swiss roll tin 33cm x 23cm (13″ x 9″) lined with baking parchment

Method:

2-oven AGA – Slide grid shelf on floor of AGA roasting oven. Ensure plain shelf is cold.

4-oven AGA – Slide grid shelf on to floor of AGA baking oven.

Conventional ovens – we have shared this method on Dorset Magazine website

Whisk egg whites to stiff peak stage and then continue whisking whilst you slowly add caster sugar one spoonful at a time.

Continue to whisk for six minutes to that achieve a stiff and glossy meringue.

Spread evenly into prepared Swiss roll tin and place in oven.  Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes in AGA with a cold plain shelf placed immediately above if cooking in roasting oven.

Transfer to simmering oven for a further fifteen minutes until slightly crisp and firm to the touch.  The meringue should be set, risen and the colour of the froth on top of a latte.

Remove from simmering oven.  Allow to rest whilst you prepare a sheet of baking parchment sprinkled with icing sugar.  Turn meringue out on to your sheet of paper and allow to cool.

When completely cold fill with whipped cream and berries and roll up.

To poach the gooseberries

Wash, top and tail 225g (8oz) gooseberries. Place in an earthenware baking dish and just cover with elderflower syrup.  Slide the grid shelf to the floor of AGA roasting oven and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes until tender.

Elderflower Syrup –  gather 10-12 elderflower heads, shake well to remove insects.  First make a stock syrup in a pan over a low heat with 600ml (1 pint) water with 225g (8oz) granulated sugar and stir until dissolved.  Allow liquid to boil until syrupy or reduce by two thirds. Allow to cool meanwhile use a fork remove flowers from the stem and place in a bowl.  Pour over cooled syrup leave to infuse overnight. Strain and reserve syrup.

Cooks tips and recipe ideas

1 This dessert freezes well. Fill with whipped cream or lemon curd instead of fruit and roll up. Wrap well, label and freeze for up to three months.  Allow 4 hours to defrost in the fridge to serve.

2 Before whisking egg whites for meringue, use paper towel, to wipe the inside of the bowl with a little vinegar.  The acid will remove any grease residue which will inhibit the albumen to incorporate air and also help to stabilise the mixture and increase in volume.

3 Reserve the egg yolks and store in a covered bowl in the fridge to make scrambled egg or custard.

Waste not want not – as Grannie would say!

1 Make a sorbet with the remaining elderflower syrup.  If you have gathered more flowers then use these to infuse white wine vinegar to make a dressing to serve with a mackerel salad.

2 Gooseberries make a classic crumble but you could serve them with granola and yoghurt for breakfast too.

3 Hold the mint and ring the changes by making a pureed gooseberry sauce to accompany roast lamb.

Meringue Roulade for Conventional Cookers 

For six-eight portions you will need:

4 medium free range egg whites

225g (8 oz) caster sugar

1 tsp fruit infused vinegar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 tsp cornflour

Icing sugar for rolling

A Swiss roll tin 33cm x 23cm (13″ x 9″) lined with baking parchment

Method:

Preheat your conventional oven to 180 C (reduce temperature by 10 C for fan ovens).

Whisk the egg whites to stiff peak stage and then continue whisking whilst you slowly add the caster sugar one spoonful at a time.

Continue to whisk for six minutes so that you achieve a stiff and glossy meringue.  Fold in the cornflour, vinegar and essence.

Spread evenly into your prepared Swiss roll tin and place in the  oven and cook for approximately 25-30 minutes on the middle shelf.

Remove from the oven from the oven when the meringue is set and risen.

Allow to rest whilst you prepare a sheet of baking parchment sprinkled with icing sugar.  Turn the meringue out on to your sheet of paper and then allow to cool.  Fill with whipped cream and fruit. Roll and serve.

Next week we will share our recipe for meringue kisses.  Ideal to serve with English Strawberries and local cream.

Meringue_roulade_with_gooseberries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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