Greengage nougatine

This recipe makes more sabayon than you will need for the dessert. The remainder will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 days.


For the sabayon
For the meringues
For the nut garnish
For the nougatine
For the greengage compôte and purée
  • 400g/14oz greengages, cut in half, stones removed

  • 25g/1oz caster sugar

  • pinch vitamin C powder (available from chemists)

  • ½ lemon, juice only

  • small knob of unsalted butter

Preparation method

  1. For the sabayon, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and dessert wine together in a large heatproof bowl until pale and fluffy.

  2. Set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water) and continue to whisk for 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture is pale and has thickened (the temperature of the mixture should reach about 78-80C).

  3. Remove from the heat, set the bowl in a larger bowl of iced water and whisk again until cool.

  4. Whisk in the cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Set aside until completely cold.

  5. Whisk one-third of the whipped cream into the cooled sabayon mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining cream until just combined.

  6. Chill the sabayon in the fridge for at least two hours, or up to 12 hours.

  7. For the meringues, whisk the egg whites and lemon juice in a clean bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.

  8. Add the sugar a third at a time, whisking well after each addition, until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.

  9. Bring the milk to the boil in a large, shallow, lidded pan. Reduce the heat until the mixture is just simmering.

  10. Dip 2 tablespoons in hot water, then make 8 quenelles of the meringue mixture, using the spoons to shape the meringue. Carefully lower each quenelle of meringue into the simmering milk. Cover the pan with the lid and poach for 7-10 minutes, carefully turning the meringues over halfway through cooking.

  11. Remove the poached meringues from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on a small tray until needed. Discard the poaching milk.

  12. For the nut garnish, place the almonds and pistachios into a bowl and lightly cover with the kirsch. Dust with the icing sugar.

  13. Spread the coated almonds onto a baking tray and toast in the oven for 4-6 minutes, or until the icing sugar has melted and caramelised. Set aside to cool.

  14. For the nougatine, preheat the oven to 160C/320F/Gas 2. Sprinkle the almonds onto a baking tray and bake for 3-5 minutes, or until lightly toasted.

  15. Heat the sugar and glucose in a pan over a medium heat and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 117C/243F (use a cooks' thermometer to test this).

  16. Add the toasted almonds, mix thoroughly, then spread the mixture onto a non-stick baking tray and set aside to cool and harden.

  17. When the nougatine has cooled and hardened, break it into smaller pieces, then blend to a fine powder in a food processor.

  18. Sieve the nougatine powder onto a silicon baking mat set on a baking tray to form a thin layer, then return to the oven and bake for 4-5 minutes, or until the nougatine has formed a thin layer and is shiny. Set aside to cool slightly.

  19. Once the nougatine is no longer sticky but still pliable, cut 4 circles from the nougatine layer using a 12cm/4½in round pastry cutter and 4 circles using an 8cm/3in round pastry cutter. Use a 2cm/1in to cut 8 semi circles.

  20. Place the shapes on the silicone mat set on a baking sheet and warm in the oven for 2 minutes, or until soft enough to mould.

  21. Mould the large nougatine circles over an upturned bowl and trim away any rough edges. Set aside to cool and harden. If the nougatine gets too firm to mould, return it to the oven to warm up.

  22. Mould the smaller nougatine circles over the rounded back of a ladle. Set aside to cool and harden. If the nougatine gets too firm to mould, return it to the oven to warm up.

  23. Melt the end of the stick of toffee using a blowtorch and use the melted end to glue two nougatine semi circles onto opposite sides of each large nougatine bowl to make 'handles' for the 'pot'.

  24. Repeat the process three times to create four nougatine 'pots'.

  25. For the greengage compote and coulis, place the greengages, 10g/½oz of the caster sugar, the vitamin C powder and the lemon juice into a bowl. Mix well to combine and set aside to marinate for 5 minutes.

  26. Heat the remaining sugar in a heavy-based pan over a low heat until caramelised. Add the butter and stir well. Continue to cook until the mixture forms a smooth caramel.

  27. Add the marinated greengages and stir well to combine, then cover the pan with a lid and continue to cook over a low heat for 12-15 minutes, or until the greengages are tender.

  28. Blend half of the greengage mixture in a food processor to a fine purée. Set the remaining greengage mixture aside to cool slightly.

  29. To serve, spoon some of the greengage purée into the middle of each of four serving plates. Place one nougatine 'pot' into the centre of the purée and spoon in some of the greengage compote. Place a poached meringue into each nougatine 'pot'. Spoon over some of the sabayon. Sprinkle some of the chopped pistachios and the toasted almond flakes over the dessert, then lean the 'lid' alongside each 'pot'.

Less than 30 mins preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4

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