Plum Meringue Gateau

Forget the calories when you tuck into this truly scrumptious meringue gateau.  Made with golden caster and Demerara sugars, the meringues have a toffee flavour which goes well with the tangy plum filling.  The meringues can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container – fill then 2-4 hours before serving.

Serves:  8;    Time to prepare:  30 mins    Time to cook:  1 ¼ – 1 ½ hrs; Cals per portion:  335

Tip:  To make sure that the cooked meringues are really crisp, leave them to cool down completely in the switched off oven.

Ingredients:  5 medium egg whites; 150g (5oz) golden caster sugar; 150g (5oz) Demerara sugar; 30ml (2 tbsp) flaked almonds; 30ml (2 tbsp) plum jam; 15ml ( 1tbsp) lemon juice; 8 small ripe plums, halved and sliced with stones removed; 300ml (½ pt) double or whipping cream, softly whipped

  • Place the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk until stiff but not dry.  Mix together the sugars and gradually whisk them into the egg whites, 15ml (1 tbsp) at a time, to make a stiff, glossy meringue, reserving the last 15ml (1 tbsp) of sugar.
  • Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.  Mark a 23cm (9in) circle on one and a 15cm (6in) circle on the other one.  Spread two-thirds of the meringue on to the larger circle, the rest on the smaller.  Sprinkle on reserved sugar and almonds.
  • Bake the meringues in a preheated oven at 140oC, 275oF, Gas 1 for 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hrs until firm and crisp.  Leave to cool completely.  Put the jam, lemon juice and 15ml (1 tbsp) water in a small pan and heat until jam melts.  Stir in the plums, then cool.
  • Carefully remove the meringues from the baking parchment and place the larger one on a flat plate.  Spoon over the whipped cream and top with two-thirds of the plums and syrup.  Top with the smaller meringue circle and rest of the plums.

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