This delicious dessert features generous slices of peach and apricot atop a bed or walnut cream and meringue.
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup golden caster sugar, plus 1 cup extra
- 3 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped
- 4 peaches or nectarines, halved, stone removed
- 4 apricots, halved, stone removed
- ¾ cup thickened cream
- 2 tbsps icing sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ⅓ cup walnuts, roasted, finely chopped, plus extra, to serve
Preheat oven to moderately low, 150 C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg-whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until thick and glossy.
Spoon 6 equal portions of mixture onto tray, spreading into 10-cm discs. Bake 1 hour. Allow to cool in a turned off oven, with door ajar.
In a large saucepan, combine extra sugar, water, cinnamon, star anise and vanilla. Bring to boil on medium, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Add stone fruit cut-side down and cover with baking paper. Simmer 7 to 8 mins, turning halfway until just tender. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream, icing sugar and cinnamon together until stiff. Fold walnuts through.
Top meringues with cream and sliced fruit and sprinkle with extra walnuts, to serve.
Prepare meringue bases a day or two before Christmas and store in an airtight container. Poach fruit and store in syrup in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to assemble.