Fish & Shellfish
Puddings & Desserts
I mentioned in a recent post that I’m sent lots of goodies for testing, particularly at Christmas - and it was a delivery of honey that inspired this recipe. (I promise I’m not getting paid for product mentions, by the way - I’m writing about them just because I really like them and I think you might too.) Anyway, the product in question was a fabulous, unpasteurised, cold-pressed honey from Necta & Hive. They seek out their honey in out-of-the-way places all over the world to be sure it’s free from pesticides and other nasties, and the one I had was a rich, golden Red Gum honey which has an amazing fresh, clean taste. It’s ideal for making a recipe like this really stand out (but of course you could use everyday honey and the finished dish would still be delicious).
This parfait makes a wonderful festive dessert and although it tastes rich and luxurious - cold and creamy, with little chunks of meringue in every bite and then the fresh, juicy taste of mango and a touch of extra sweetness from the honey - it’s still quite a bit lighter than Christmas pud, so it makes a great alternative.
* I knew that honey is said to have antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but I had no idea until I started reading about Necta & Hive’s products that it can be given a ‘TA’ rating (standing for Total Activity), depending on the strength of its antimicrobial potency. Their Red Gum Honey has a whopping 30+ rating - I’m eating a spoonful a day now in the hope that it will cure all sorts of things! To find out more, go to www.nectahive.com.
Whisk together 5 tbsp honey and the egg yolks, then stir into the creme fraiche. Beat the egg whites with an electric whisk until they form stiff peaks, then gently fold into the cream mixture. Crush the meringues into chunks and stir them gently into the cream too. Spoon into a freezer-proof bowl and freeze for at least four hours or ideally overnight.
Scoop out into individual bowls, top with the mango cubes and drizzle with honey. It really is that that easy - but the end result tastes as though you've spent a long time slaving over it!
My usual recipe for meringues makes them with a lovely, squidgy middle, but for this dish you need them to be really crisp all the way through. Shop-bought meringue nests are the right texture - but it's really easy to make your own in the microwave too. They don't look as pretty as traditional meringue but they're ideal if you're going to break them up anyway and they taste just as good. Sift 150g icing sugar into a bowl and drop in 1 tbsp of egg white. Stir it about with a fork a bit until the egg white is covered in sugar, then use your hands to bring it together into a very stiff, dry paste. Divide it into 16 little balls, then put four of them on a sheet of baking parchment and microwave on High for 40 seconds (based on an 800w microwave oven). Watch them through the door as they puff up enormously, then deflate a bit and set! Repeat with the rest, cooking four at a time.