August 18, 2012

Meringue Cake with Red Currant Curd

The thing about currants is that they are best eaten straight from the bush. If you have them cleaned and neatly served in a homey bowl, they become rather boring and eagerly replaceable with any other fresh fruit or berry. But just when you are standing there, surrounded by the mother nature, and uncontrollably picking one juicy currant after another from its loving hands, then slowly moving your fingers to reach the mouth and in the end mischievously coloring your lips with a sweet red or blue tinge - it is a whole different story. The gesture, the moment, the taste - everything at once creates a beautiful pleasure which is more often than not well seasoned with a phenomenal summer delight.

Meringue Cake with Red Currant Curd Filling

At the same time, there comes a moment of gratitude. For the nature and its pure beauty. For red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange treats that it is generously giving in the most luscious ways. In the most handsome and the best tasting way. There comes an appreciation for the midday sun, a couple of raindrops penetrating into the ground, and the chilly wind carefully refreshing the soil with it's gentle breeze.

I think sometime we all have to stop rushing and just take a moment to say a slow and genuine thank you. To the beauty and natural life that's been caressing us even when we didn't bother to notice it. For its struggle to be prosperous, although more often than not a humankind is way too selfish and too demanding to put at least a little bit value upon that.

red currants

That is exactly why I love to sneak into someone else's backyard (it's always better someone that I know) and fully plunge into the absolute indulgence of these summer berries. It makes me pause, and I love it. Mostly because it gives me the encouragement to keep on searching for the better version of me. 

Eventually, when the meditation is over, I head back home with a bowl of currants ready to be packed into the dessert. What kind of dessert? Well, it is always more about what I feel like having at the precise moment, cause currants can perfectly accommodate almost everywhere - cakes, cookies, muffins, ice cream, or just a simple crisp. Being sour they can end up as a really great base for the curd, which, in turn, wonderfully accompanies the sweet,  oh sweet, meringue. So, meringue it is.

Meringue Cake with Red Currant Curd Filling

Meringue Cake with Red Currant Curd Filling

for 2 meringues:
3 egg whites
(150 g) powdered sugar
1/2 Tbsp corn starch

for red currant curd:
(350 g) red currants
1/3 cup (70 g) + 1/2 cup (110 g) light brown sugar
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp water
6 egg yolks
pinch of salt
(26 g) butter

Preheat the oven to 330 F (170 C) temperature. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and trace two circles about 5-inch diameter.
To make meringues, in a medium bowl, whip egg whites until they form soft peaks. Then, lower the speed and gradually add sugar and corn starch. Continue mixing until you get stiff, glossy and creamy texture. Divide meringue in half, spooning two or three mounds down each traced circle. Using a rubber spatula fill in and even out the circles.
Set meringues into the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Then lower the heat to 260 F (130 C) temperature and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Finally, turn off the heat and leave meringues to cool and dry in the oven. Even better is to leave them there overnight
To make the filling, place currants in a saucepan with 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar, lemon juice and water. Stew over medium heat stirring occasionally until berries start falling apart, about 10-15 minutes. You can also slightly mash them while stirring. Set aside to cool a little bit, then puree until smooth. Pass through the sieve to get rid of the seeds.
In another bowl, whisk egg yolks with 1/2 cup (110 g) sugar and salt. Place over the double boiler on medium heat whisking constantly. Gradually add the red currant puree and continue to whisk for about 10-15 minutes, until it slightly thickens (it doesn't have to be very thick, it will thicken more while cooling).
Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the butter.
Leave to cool.
To assemble the cake, set one meringue on a platter and spread it with half of the filling. Repeat with another meringue and remaining filling. Top with berries and powdered sugar.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

Meringue Cake with Red Currant Curd Filling

4 comments:

  1. This looks absolutely awesome, and I agree, nothing like taking some time and picking fresh currants! Beautiful photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks ;)
      unfortunatelly, all the currants are gone, and we'll see each other only the next season...

      Delete
  2. thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete