I would like to introduce myself as the other half of this blogging team. My job is to test the recipes posted and give feedback, much like the judges on Masterchef but with only one credential – l like to eat good food. More than that, l love to bake. I suppose l am the sweet half of this foodie couple. However, a brush with gestational diabetes meant that baking has had to sadly take a backseat for several weeks until the newborn arrived. Happily he has, as healthy as they come, and so apron on, whisk in one hand and rolling pin in the other, l am back in the kitchen.
To wet the aforementioned child’s head (oh, how glorious was that first sip of bubbly…), we invited some friends around for a ‘dinner and board game’ evening. I was left in charge of desert. Not really having the fortitude to face the supermarket with a newborn l rummaged through the kitchen cupboards to see what l could come up with. So, with a tin of peaches, eggs, cream and a handy bottle of whisky l created the following spicy deliciousness. Inspired part by a traditional British Eton Mess, and part by a Christmas Crumble my mum makes, it is quick and easy to construct, and the components can be made a day in advance.
I am not going to lie, it was a welcome return to the land of glucose.
3 Eggs Cinnamon
175g Caster Sugar Nutmeg
A large tin of peaches Splash of Whisky
Whipping Cream 4 cloves
Greek Yoghurt Crushed All-spice
1 Lemon Balsamic Vinegar
Firstly create your meringues. I used a Delia recipe. Separate the egg whites into a remarkably clean and sparkly bowl and whisk until the soft peak stage. Add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time and whisk well after each addition until the mixture becomes stiff and glossy. The husband made me hold the bowl over my head to check that it was stiff enough. Thankfully it was, much to his disappointment.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, warm the oven to 140 Degrees C. Make small mounds of meringue on the greaseproof paper (you will be smashing them up later, so don’t worry about making them perfect). Bake in the oven for about an hour and let them cool in said oven. I slightly over-baked mine but this gave them an almost nutty, honeycomb flavour which actually worked well with the other ingredients.
Next, drain the peaches, reserving the liquid. Set aside half a peach per person, sliced evenly.
Put the syrup in a saucepan. Chop the remaining peaches and place them in the syrup. Add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, 4 cloves, 4 crushed all-spice, as much cinnamon and nutmeg as you like, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a splash of whisky, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Bring to the boil and simmer for between 5 and 10 minutes.
Pour the peachy liquid through a sieve. The liquor needs to go back into the saucepan and be reduced to a thick, sticky sauce. Pick out the cloves from the boiled peach bits, put into a bowl, and blend to a puree.
Finally, whip up your cream, fold in some greek yoghurt and some lemon juice for some ‘tang’.
Crush the meringues into small pieces and fold half of them into the cream.
Layer the reserved peach slices at the bottom of your dish (l put them in water glasses). Add a layer of cream/meringue mix. Spread over some peach puree. Then add another layer of cream. Top with crushed meringue and drizzle over your spiced peach liquor.
Serve, and think of both summer and winter at the same time.