These meringues always bake a little soft and a bit chewy on the inside – just over an hour in the oven is how I like them, then the same again with the oven off and the door ajar. That look of lightly tanned silk that the brown sugar gives is so much more exciting to me than a plain white powdery cloud. Pile on the grapes and cream with abandon. Any meringues you don’t eat immediately can be stored in a sealed container for a week. - Rosie Ramsden
For the meringues
4 large egg whites (about 160g)
250g light brown soft sugar (any large clumps crumbled back to a grain)
For the grapes
200g black grapes, halved
2 tbsp runny honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 ts vanilla extract
4 tbsp oloroso sherry (or brandy)
½ lemon, zest
300ml double cream (more if you like lots)
Heat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Slowly add the sugar with the whisk still running. Add a little bit at a time so that the sugar has a chance to dissolve into the whites. When all the sugar has been incorporated, rub a little of the meringue mix between your fingers; you want it to feel smooth, not grainy, so keep whisking if it's the latter.
Using a large metal spoon, dollop 8-10 generous spoonfuls onto the baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the door ajar.
When it’s time to serve up the meringues, mix all the grape ingredients in a large non-stick pan and caramelise for 7-10 minutes over a medium-high heat until the grapes start to colour and release their juices into the honey.
Whip the cream to soft peaks. Place a meringue on each plate, dollop with cream and spoon on the sticky grapes. Dust with icing sugar and lemon zest to serve.
Feature Image: Issy Croker
This articles was originally published on House & Garden UK