Preparation: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours (for the meringue)
- 4 egg whites
- 240g caster sugar
- 1 litre double cream
- 25g icing sugar
- 100ml Martell Cognac
For the Prunes
- 300g Agen prunes, ready-to-eat
- 50g sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 5 cardamom pods
- grated zest 1 orange
- If the prunes are not semi-soft / ready-to-eat, then blanch them first in a pan of boiling water for 1 minute, then drain. If they are already semi-soft then no need to blanch.
- Make a syrup with the 50g sugar and 150ml boiling water in a saucepan – add the cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and orange zest. Stir in the prunes, simmer for 3 minutes then remove from the hob and cool. Remove stones (if needed) and marinade overnight.
- Heat an oven to 100oC / Gas ½ - cover a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment.
- Whisk the egg whites in a large (grease free) bowl and using a balloon whisk or electric whisk beat the whites until you have a white foam that holds firm peaks with soft tops.
- Gradually beat in 240g of sugar until the foam becomes a glossy and thick meringue. Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking parchment sheet in mounds, allowing a little space between, then bake for up to 3 hours until crisp and a very pale golden colour. Allow to cool.
- When ready to put the dessert together, whip the cream with the icing sugar until softly stiff then gradually whip in the Martell until the cream is form but not dry.
- Drain the prunes but leave them a little juicy and cut into halves or quarters. Roughly crush the meringues and fold in all the elements together. Serve nicely chilled in glass bowls or sundae glasses. Can also be served with a red berry coulis and candied, julienned orange strips on top.