This break-all-the-rules meringue is one of our best and favourite puds. We fill it with a myrid of fruity fillings in season, strawberries, raspberries, loganberries, boysenberries, tayberries, raspberries, peaches, nectarine, mango and passionfruit, green gooseberry and elderflower, rhubarb and strawberry….
Check that the bowl is dry, spotlessly clean and free of grease. Blanch and skin the almonds. Grind or chop them up. They should not be ground to a fine powder but should be left slightly coarse and gritty. At a pinch one could use nibbed almonds but they won’t taste quite so good. Mark two 19cm (7 1/2 inch) circles on silicone paper or a prepared baking sheet. Mix all the sugar with the egg whites at once and beat until the mixture forms stiff dry peaks. Fold in the almonds. Divide the mixture between the 2 circles and spread evenly with a palette knife. Bake immediately in a cool oven, 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2 for 45 minutes or until set crisp and just brown on top. Allow to cool.
Sandwich the meringues together whipped cream and drained kumquats. Chill for some hours before serving. Decorate with rosettes of whipped cream and wafers of chocolate.
Cut the kumquats into four slices and remove the pips. Put the kumquats in a saucepan with the water and sugar and let them cook very gently, uncovered for half an hour.Allow to cool and drain off excess juice before using as a filling for the meringue. Recipe with thanks from Ballymaloe Cookery School.