I always plan dessert first and then the main course. A light dessert means we can have a more substantial dinner and vice versa!
Clouds of meringue were piled high over the fruit filling, and then cooked slowly until the outside is crisp and the meringue underneath still soft. After cooking meringue topping made this way, there is definitely no turning back to the soft-topped meringue of old.
Delia Smith put me on the right track with her meringue topping many years ago, basically, all you have to do is make the meringue in the usual way, but the secret is then to cook the meringue topping for 45 minutes at Gas Mark 2/300°F/150°C.
The fruit combination was a glorious match, the plums were poached in a light stock syrup with a cinnamon stick. Frozen raspberries were then added to the cinnamon infused plums.
A layer of crushed amaretti biscuits were added to the base of the dish before spooning over the poached fruit.
Next time I make this, I will poach my plums for a shorter time. They continued cooking whilst the meringue was getting nice and crispy on top. The original recipe cooks the meringue for only 5 minutes and obviously the fruit underneath the meringue isn't going to cook anymore.
The inspiration for this dessert came from a January 2009 Waitrose recipe card.
If you can't get into a Waitrose store, they have just brought out Waitrose Live online, which is the current issue of their free Seasons Winter Cookbook 2009. I always look forward to picking up my copy at the checkout, but now everyone can get to look at it. Hope you enjoy turning the pages online!