With the borders opening and restrictions easing across the country everywhere I turn people are now starting to plan the festive season and their Christmas menu.
I made this dessert for our AFL Grand Final party earlier this year and it was a big hit with our guests (almost as much as Richmond winning another flag). More importantly my family down in Melbourne drooled when I showed them the dessert and a promise was made to re-create it if we got to Melbourne and with the border open I think I was the first one to book flights to Melbourne following the announcement that Queensland was "good to go".
So a little about this dessert. Its a mix of two of my favourite desserts that I like to make. The berries from the berry panna cotta recipe and the meringue from pavlova recipe. Each year I tend to make a pavlova for Christmas Day so this recipe means my tradition is still there just with a twist.
The berries at this time of the year are oh so sweet and the juice from boiling them prior to adding the meringue gives it an added depth of flavour.
You may ask why I named it rustic - well for two reasons. Firstly who has time to pipe meringue in the silly season so just dollop it on and secondly the juice from the berries can make it a little messy but that just adds to the flavour.
Serve it with some whipped cream on the side and your guests will think you are the dessert Queen (or King!).
Prep 1.5 hours
1 punnet each of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
4 tbs white sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
Ready make shortcrust pastry
6 egg whites at room temperature
2 cups castor sugar
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Take the pastry out of the freezer and let thaw until it is pliable.
Grease a tart tin with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Line the tart tin with the pastry and pierce with a fork and put in fridge for 30min to chill.
While the pastry is chilling wash the berries and hull the strawberries and place in a saucepan.
Add the sugar and lemon juice to the berries and cook until it boils stirring occasionally for about 5-8 min until a syrup has formed.
Remove from the heat and place in the fridge to cool.
Remove the tart tin from the fridge and place baking paper over the pastry and add baking balls and blind bake for 10min.
Remove the balls and baking paper and bake for another 5 min and remove and let cool.
When the berry mixture has cooled strain the berries from the syrup reserving the syrup.
Add the drained berries to the tart tin and then pour a little of the syrup over the top.
Turn the heat of the oven to 150 degrees.
Dollop the meringue over the top of the berry mixture and bake for 10-15min.
Turn oven to grill and brown the meringue for 5 min.
Remove from the oven and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
Place egg whites and pinch salt in a mixer and mix on high for approximately 5 min or until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
With the motor running on high add sugar one spoon at a time and letting it fully mix into the egg whites before you add another spoon.
When all sugar is added leave the mixer mixing on high for another 5min to fully dissolve all sugar.
Gently fold in the vinegar and vanilla essence to the meringue mix.