Wednesday , October 27 2021
Roger_Hickman's Lemon Meringue

Lemon Meringue with pear and Calvados

By Roger Hickman

Serves 4

3 egg whites
75g of sugar
A little lemon zest

Bring a pan of water to a gentle simmer.  In a bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar, and place over the pan, continuing to whisk vigorously.  Make sure the temperature of the meringue does not exceed 50°C; at this stage ribbons should begin to form.  When it reaches this temperature, remove the pan from the heat, and continue to whisk the meringue over the cooling pan for ten more minutes, until cooked.

With a palate knife, spread the meringue thinly on a silicon sheet, then grate a little lemon zest across the top.  Heat an oven to 80°C, then turn off.  Put the sheet of meringue in the cooling oven for two hours, so that it dries completely.  Cut into small rectangles.

125g of sugar
125g of butter, softened
3 lemons, zest and juice
5 egg yolks

Simply mix together the ingredients in a bowl, and then gently heat over a pan of barely simmering water until the mixture thickens to a curd consistency.  Allow to cool completely. 

2 Commis pears
200g of sugar
400ml of water
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
juice of one lemon and one lime

Put all of the ingredients apart for the pears in a pan, and bring to the boil, ensuring the sugar is completely dissolved.  Allow to cool.  Now add the pears, bring the stock syrup back up to a simmer, and then remove from the heat.  Leave the pears to poach slowly.  You can test whether they are done by sticking a knife in one – it should fall off straight away.  Cool, and slice into wedges.

juice of 4 Conference pears
3tbsp of sugar
a squeeze of lemon juice
1 leaf gelatine, softened

Put the pear juice, sugar and lemon juice into a pan and bring to the boil.  Skim off any solids which rise to the top, then strain the juice to ensure it as clear.  While still warm, dissolve the gelatine leaf in the juice, then pour into a tub and set in the fridge. 

3 Conference pears

Cut the pears in half and roast them in the oven at 180°C for 30-45 minutes, until completely caramelised.  Don’t worry if the outsides look burnt, that is the whole point.  Blitz the pear halves, skin pips and all, in a food processor, and then pass through a fine sieve to give you a dark, fine puree.

100ml of Calvados
75g of sugar
2 tbsps of burnt pear puree (see above)
1 leaf gelatine, softened
250ml of double cream

Reduce the Calvados by half in a pan, then add the sugar and the burnt pear puree.  While still warm, add the gelatine, allow it to dissolve, and let the mixture set as a jelly.  Once set, whisk the jelly.  In another bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks, and then fold this into the whisked jelly.  Reset in the fridge.

Arrange the various elements as shown in the photo, and garnish with miniature sorrel and mandolined Conference pear slices.

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