Dessert idea: Vanilla & Saffron Custard with Mini Meringue
Jason O'Neill, head chef at the g Hotel, shares this tempting recipe.
Vanilla & Saffron Custard with Mini Meringue
For the mini meringues: 250g caster sugar
250g icing sugar
250g egg whites
For the Timor pepper shortbread: 500g butter
720g plain flour
1 pinch Timor pepper
For the custard:
1 pinch saffron
1 vanilla pod
150g egg yolks
1. For the meringues, sift both sugars.
2. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and add half of the combined sugars. Continue to whisk.
3. Add the second half of sugar when all grains of sugar have dissolved and continue whisking until meringue is smooth with stiff peaks.
4. Pipe into small miniature peaks on a lined baking tray and bake at 90°C for 1 hour until firm and crisp.
5.The shortbread is relatively quick to make. Start by combining the butter and sugar.
6. Sift flour with the pepper and add to the butter and sugar mixture.
7. Mix until it becomes a pliable dough-like consistency.
8. Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out until the paste is 1cm/½in thick.
9. Cut into fingers, place onto a baking tray and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
10. Bake in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
11. For the custard itself, combine cream with milk and bring to the boil with the saffron and vanilla pod for flavour. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse.
12. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and light.
13. Slowly pour in the hot mixture, whisking all of the time.
14. Return to saucepan and cook on a low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The custard must not boil so keep a close eye and it will thicken.
15. Pour into ramekins and bake in a bain marie (deeper tray with water) at 100°C for approx 25 minutes, using a low fan.
16. Arrange all the ingredients together with the mini meringues on top and add mixed seasonal berries for a colourful summer dish. Serve the shortbread on the side.
Pictures: Julia Dunin