Leiths’ Raspberry Meringue Millefeuille

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Leiths School of Food and Wine have created a raspberry meringue millefeuille that makes a wonderfully refreshing end to a meal.

Best assembled shortly before serving, it can also be made with Swiss meringue.

Ingredients
For the Italian meringue:
200g granulated sugar
100ml water
4 egg whites
1/2 vanilla pod

For the raspberry purée:
200g raspberries
200g framboise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon icing sugar, or to taste

To assemble:
150ml double cream
150ml thick creme fraiche
2 tablespoons vanilla syrup
1 tablespoon icing sugar
350g raspberries
pink rose petals, (optional)
icing sugar, to dust

Method
1 Heat the oven to 140°C. Line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment. Draw 2 rectangles, 14 x 20cm, on one sheet, with a gap between them to allow for spreading.
2 Draw another rectangle, the same size, on the other sheet, so you have 3 templates. Turn the parchment over.
3 To make the meringue, put the sugar and water into a small, heavy-based saucepan. Dissolve over a very low heat, stirring gently without splashing up the sides of the pan.
4 When the sugar has dissolved, brush down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water, then increase the heat. Do not stir the syrup once the sugar has dissolved. Using a sugar thermometer to check, boil the syrup until it reaches 120°C.
5 Meanwhile, using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl to stiff peaks. As soon as the syrup reaches 120°C, pour it steadily onto the egg whites with the beaters running. Try not to pour it onto the actual beaters as the syrup can solidify on them.
6 Continue whisking until the mixture is cool and stiff. Split the half vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds and whisk them into the meringue.
7 Set aside a generous third of the meringue. Divide the rest equally between 2 templates. Using a palette knife, spread the meringue in a thin, even layer, smoothing it right to the edges. These 2 thin sheets will form the base and middle layers of the millefeuille.
8 Spread the remaining meringue over the third template to the edges, then use the back of a teaspoon to swirl the meringue into little peaks; this will form the top layer.
9 Bake the meringues in the lower third of the oven for 45–50 minutes, or until they will lift off the parchment cleanly and have completely dried out. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely. The top layer of meringue may need to cook for a little longer than the 2 plain layers, as it is thicker.
10 Meanwhile, for the purée, put the raspberries, framboise, lemon juice and icing sugar in a small pan over a low heat and bring slowly to the boil. Press through a sieve, to remove the seeds, into a clean pan.
11 Return to the heat. Boil for 1 minute, or until reduced by about half; it should be an intensely flavoured fairly thick purée. Transfer to a small bowl and chill until needed.
12 To make the filling, whip the cream to soft peaks in a medium bowl. Stir in the crème fraîche, vanilla syrup and icing sugar. Chill until needed.
13 To assemble the millefeuille, place a plain sheet of meringue on a serving platter and carefully spread half of the cream mixture over it. Drizzle half of the raspberry purée over the cream and top with a third of the raspberries.
14 Place a second sheet of meringue on top and repeat the cream, purée and fruit layers. Top with the thicker, swirled sheet of meringue.
15 Decorate with the remaining raspberries and the rose petals, if using. Dust with icing sugar and serve, cut into slices.

Recipe courtesy of Leiths School of Food and Wine

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