I love meringue in any form! I like meringue so much that when my mother asked my what type of cake I would like for my 21st birthday I requested tiers of meringue piled high and decorated with strawberries and cream. It was a triumph!
And so it is that for sweets at Christmas dinner, a very light meal in our family - having done the full traditional Christmas lunch complete with turkey and pudding - we serve a light marshmallow meringue in the shape Christmas wreath. Topped with a red fruit salad made with seasonal fresh berries and redcurrants, succulent cherries and watermelon stars it is much anticipated and a spectacular end to the meal!
With family spread across Australia 2013 has been our year to host an early Christmas gathering. On a glorious December day recently we celebrated with an informal lunch under brollies in the backyard. Reminiscing and wrestling with the teepee - gift for Grandson 3 were popular! It was all over too soon - but then ... there's next year to look forward to!
I do hope you enjoy your Christmas with your loved ones. Merry Christmas!
Meringue and Red Fruit Salad Christmas Wreath
Marshmallow Meringue4 egg whites at room temperature (I used large eggs)
1 cup castor sugar
a few drops of vanilla
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Set the oven 180 degrees centigrade.
Trace your wreath onto baking paper. Using a bowl or cake tin of appropriate size draw a large circle on baking paper - making sure the circle fits your baking tray. Draw a smaller circle in the centre.
Add the salt to the egg whites and whip until stiff peaks form. Beat the sugar into the egg whites a quarter of a cup at a time. Beat until thick and glossy. Gently fold through the vanilla, cornflour and vinegar. Spoon the mixture onto your marked wreath moulding the mixture as high as possible. Smooth the top so that the wreath will lay flat on the serving dish.
Turn the oven back to 150 degrees Centigrade and place the meringue in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
Turn the oven back to 120 degrees Centigrade this time and bake for a further 20 minutes.
Switch the oven off and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven.
Remove when cold. Store in a dry place.
*Make this a day or two before serving
Red Fruit SaladRed seasonal fruit - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mulberries, redcurrants
Watermelon - chunked or cut into stars
Chill these well.
Boozey SyrupMake a syrup with 1/2 a cup water and 1/2 a cup of sugar. Cook the syrup until it thickens and is at the soft ball stage. If using a candy thermometer cook until the mixture reaches 118 degrees Centigrade. Cool the mixture, then add 1/4 cup of a good rose wine and 1 tablespoon of your favourite brandy. Pour over the chilled fruit and allow to macerate for 20 minutes.
Whipped Cream300 mls whipping cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar (sifted)
a few drops of vanilla
Place the chilled cream in a bowl. Whip to very soft peaks. Add the vanilla and icing sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Chill.
To AssembleTurn the meringue wreath over and place on serving tray. Carefully remove the baking paper.
Spread a layer of the chilled whipped cream over the wreath.
Drain tablespoons of the fruit and then place on the cream until the top of the meringue is covered with the fruit. Chill until serving time. Serve with a fabulous vanilla icecream.