Before I started writing this blog I used to write recipes longhand into a series of exercise books. On page one of desserts is one from my sister and scrawled at the bottom are the words ‘possibly the best pudding in the world’.
Hers is a lemon torte made by sandwiching a mix of lemon curd and whipped cream between two sheets of cooked meringue. The dessert is frozen and then partially defrosted to serve. It’s sensational. Liz often makes it for family gatherings and there is usually an unseemly scramble for seconds.
I’ve tweaked it a bit here, adding some rosewater to the meringues and using a home-made raspberry curd for the filling. Passion fruit curd would be good, too. Whichever you choose, it’s best made the day before to give it time to set, otherwise the filling will be too runny. If you don’t want the faff of making your own, buy a good quality curd (Scarlett and Mustard‘s are excellent) and use that instead.
Raspberry and Rose Meringue Torte
Ingredients for the meringues:
4 egg whites
225g caster sugar mixed with 2 level tspn cornflour
1/4 tspn cream of tartar
1 or 2 tbsp rosewater
Red food colouring (optional)
Ingredients for the filling:
150 g raspberries, fresh or frozen (defrosted if frozen)
4 egg yolks
Juice of 1 lemon, zest of 1/2
300ml whipping cream
Rose petals, candied, fresh or dried, to decorate
Raspberry coulis (optional but good), to serve
Pre-heat the oven to 150C/350F/Gas Mark 2.
For the meringues, line two shallow rectangular baking tins, the sort used for Swiss rolls, with silicone paper. Put the egg whites in a bowl, sprinkle with the cream of tartar and whisk until they hold stiff, glossy peaks.
Mix the cornflour with the sugar, adding it to the eggs a tablespoon at a time, whisking until stiff with each addition. Sprinkle over the rosewater and whisk in.
Spread the meringue on the two lined baking sheets and if you like, dip a skewer into some red food colouring and draw thin diagonal lines on the surface of one meringue. Drag them with the tip of the skewer to give a feather effect.
Place the meringues in the oven, lower the temperature to 140C/375F/Gas Mark 1 and bake for an hour to an hour and a half or until crisp. Allow to cool.
For the curd, sterilise a medium jam jar and set aside. Puree the raspberries in a food processor then push through a sieve, discarding the seeds. Rinse the sieve, beat the egg yolks and sieve into the bowl with the raspberry puree. Stir together.
Heat an inch or two of water in the bottom of a double boiler or bain marie and put the butter, sugar and lemon juice and zest into the top half, making sure its base doesn’t touch the water. If you don’t have a bain marie, use a heat-proof bowl that fits over your saucepan.
Heat, stirring from time to time until the butter has melted, the sugar has dissolved and you have a smooth mixture.
Pour in the raspberry and egg yolk mix and stir constantly until it has thickened to the consistency of loosely whipped cream. If it looks as though it might boil or curdle, remove from the heat and beat it hard before putting it back on the stove.
Pour into a sterilised jar and allow to cool completely before putting on the lid. Leave in the fridge overnight: it will thicken further as it cools and will keep for up to a month, refrigerated.
To make the torte, whip the cream until it stands in soft peaks then beat in the chilled raspberry curd a tablespoon at a time. It will turn knicker pink.
Lay a large piece on foil on a tray big enough to hold the finished torte. Lay one rectangle of meringue, rough side down, on the foil and cover with the filling. Put the second side on top, rough side up, wrap and freeze.
To serve, unwrap the torte and transfer to a serving tray. Leave at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, by which time the filling should have softened enough to cut – a hot knife helps. Just before serving, scatter with fresh or sugared rose petals.
A sharpish raspberry coulis helps to cut through the sweetness of the meringue.
Additional pouring cream is an extravagance but rather good.
This sounds amazing! Looks really beautiful, too. “Knicker pink” is now my favorite color description! Thanks, Linda!
Lol, well, it is descriptive of a certain shade! Glad you like it, Cindy, thank you. Lx
This pudding is amazing. I am not normally a pudding person, but I ate a huge helping of this. Absolutely delicious, and a departure from the usual.
Thank you, Rob, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Big hugs. Lxxxx
This pud sounds delicious and I have a jar of raspberry curd that I bought in Framlingham last year so its about time I used it.
Sorted! Hope you enjoy it if you make it, Jacqui. Lx
Do you candy your own rose petals? Or buy them? If so, where? This sounds a very special pudding.
I must say I was really pleased with it. I have candied my own, Margaret, but it’s too early for roses here. I used a combination of sugared rose petals from http://www.uncleroys.co.uk/ and edible dried rose petals from Steenbergs: http://www.steenbergsorganic.net/. Cheers, Linda x
Brilliant. And beautiful!
Thank you, Michelle. Not sure where my sister got the original recipe, but it works! Lx
!! super! … as soon as good english rasps appear I will make it…+ it reminds me (in composition: meringue + butter cream+refrigeration) of a lovely choc recipe in Julia Child Mastering 2: La Ducquoise or something similar)…. thanks, ciao, stefano
ps on rose petals: I bough some online…but they do not taste much: is it normal? are they meant to taste of anything or are they just for decoration?
Glad you like it, Stefano, thanks. I think the curd/cream combo is nicer and less sickly than buttercream. The rose petals I bought did have a rose flavour, although unsurprisingly the sugared ones taste mostly of, duh, sugar. Nice added crunch though. The dried petals have a distinct whiff of rose perfume but I liked the two together. Fresh, scented, unsprayed rose petals would be lovely too. Cheers, Linda,