Lavender Floral Meringues

Part of the I love Lavender Series.....


For the meringues (make the day before)For the cream and fruit mixture
  • 250g/9oz blueberries or 250g/7oz blackcurrants or 750g/1lb10oz fresh, ripe strawberries
  • 2 tbsp Kirsch
  • a few lavender flowers or a few sprigs of lavender
  • a few sprigs spearmint (optional)
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • 400ml/¾pt fresh cream, for whipping
  • 6 meringues or meringue shells
  • For the meringue, place the egg whites in a very clean bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks that slightly tip over when you lift the whisk.
  • Add the caster sugar, about a tbsp at a time, and continue to whisk until each tbsp of sugar has been thoroughly whisked in.
  • Using two dessertspoons, fill one with meringue mix and use the other to scoop the mixture out onto a lined baking tray in neat rows.
  • Place the baking tray in the oven on the centre shelf, heated at 140C/275F/Gas 1, and cook for 1 hour.
  • Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven to dry out overnight, or until the oven is completely cold.
  • For the cream and fruit mixture, wash and dry the fruit. Set aside some perfect specimens for decoration.
  • Sprinkle the chosen fruit with the liqueur, dust with icing sugar and refrigerate for an hour or two. Whip the cream and chill.
  • Roughly crush the meringue.
  • When you are ready to serve, gently toss the cream, meringue and fruit and pile into a glass bowl. Scatter the whole fruit on top, decorate with lavender and mint and serve. Alternatively freeze the meringues, fruit and cream mixture.

It is important to serve the desert as quickly as possible after you have taken it from the freezer. If you leave it a room temperature for too long it will go soggy.

Floral sugar can be used in any culinary recipe instead of regular sugar. The best floral sugars are made from flowers with a sweet, definite scent such as lavender, rose, violets, pinks, mint and citrus flowers. Meringues made with floral sugar are quite something else.

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