Roasted stone fruit and brown sugar pavlova
Brown sugar-spiked meringues, topped with roasted stone fruits and a foil of not-too-sweet whipped honeyed Greek yoghurt. If you are not making the pavlova, try roasting under-ripe fruit (or fruit that refuses) to ripen in the same way to get the best out of it.
Vegans can make meringues using aquafaba (the water from a can of chickpeas). Here is a quick recipe: Whip 150g chickpea water with a pinch of salt until very stiff, add 150g of caster sugar and 1½ tsp cream of tartar, and whip on high until the sugar grains have dissolved. Use coconut yoghurt in place of dairy and agave in place of the honey.
For the meringue
150g golden caster sugar
50g soft brown sugar
For the fruit
2 peaches, stoned and quartered
4 apricots, stoned and halved
4 plums, stoned and halved
150g strawberries, halved
A few sprigs thyme, leaves picked
2 tbsp runny honey
4 bay leaves
Juice and zest of 2 limes
For the yoghurt
200ml thick Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp vanilla paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tbsp honey
Heat the oven to 150C/300F/gas 2. Separate the eggs and put the yolks to one side for another use. (You can use them for mayonnaise, custard or add them to whole eggs when you’re making scrambled eggs to make them extra rich.)
Make sure the bowl of your stand mixer is very clean, then whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.
Add the sugars and a pinch of salt and whisk on the highest setting for about five minutes, until all the grains of sugar have disappeared – rub the meringue with your fingertips; if you can still feel the grains, keep going.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spoon the mixture into the middle of the tray, use the back of a spoon to make a circle roughly the size of a large dinner plate (about 24-26cm in diameter), then use the spoon to make it lower in the middle and a little higher around the sides. Once you have a shape you like, use your spoon to create waves and peaks in the meringue, which will look great when it is cooked. Bake for an hour, until golden on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Take the meringue out and turn up the oven to 200C/390F/gas 6. Toss the fruit in the thyme, honey, bay leaves, and the lime juice and zest, spread on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes, until everything caramelises. Depending on the ripeness of your fruit, you may have to roast some of it longer. You are looking for the fruit to soften in the middle and to caramelise a little at the edges. Set aside to cool.
Mix the yoghurt with the vanilla and a couple tablespoons of the liquid from the roasting pan. Once everything is cool and you are ready to eat, pile the yoghurt on to the meringue, and top as artfully as you like with the fruit.
IMAGE: Matt Russell for The Guardian