This recipe is very simple to prepare but looks – as you can see above – amazing! I saw this recipe by Diana Henry in the Telegraph years ago and have decided to resurrect it this weekend as we have guests coming for supper. As they are an interesting crowd, I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen fiddlefaddling with something complicated, so this ticks all the boxes. Also, thought it would be a good pud to go with the Normandy Pork Casserole I’m making ahead the day before.
HAZELNUT PAVLOVAS WITH ROAST APPLES
INGREDIENTS serves six
For the meringues
3 egg whites
175g (6oz) golden caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
100g (3½oz) blanched hazelnuts, toasted and ground
1 tsp white wine vinegar
For the apples
6 small or 3 larger eating apples, halved
15g (½oz) unsalted butter
1 tbsp soft light-brown sugar
1 tbsp granulated sugar
For the cream
250ml (9fl oz) double cream
2½ tbsp English apple brandy or French calvados
2½ tbsp soft light-brown sugar (or to taste)
toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped, to serve (optional)
HOW TO PREPARE
Heat the oven to 130°C/260°F/gas mark ¾ and draw six 7cm (3in) circles on a piece of baking-parchment. Put on a baking-sheet.
Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they form stiff peaks. Whisk in half the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, beating between each addition. Fold in the remaining sugar along with the cornflour and nuts, followed by the vinegar. Spoon the meringue on to the circles, making a little depression in each one with the back of a spoon, and bake for an hour, or until they lift easily from the parchment. Leave to cool.
Put the apples, cut-side up, into a small roasting-tin or dish in which they fit snugly in a single layer. Leave the cores and stalks intact. Heat the butter in a frying-pan until it smells nutty and is pale brown. Pour over the apples then sprinkle on the sugars. Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for 20 to 30 minutes depending on size. They should be completely tender and slightly caramelised, but shouldn’t have burst or collapsed. Leave to cool to lukewarm.
Beat the cream and, when it is holding its shape, mix in the alcohol and sugar. Do not overbeat. Serve each person with a meringue, some brandy cream and either two small apple halves, or one larger, sprinkled with extra chopped hazelnuts if desired.