I’m still waiting for permission from delicious. Magazine to reprint their recipes here. Until then, go buy the mag yourself. You will not regret a subscription. I promise!
So, the Mess. Firstly, for a fairly simple construction, it takes a really long time to cook! If you’re short on time, BUY YOUR MERINGUE! But if pride in your mad cooking skillz prevents you from doing that, The Mess can be prepared in stages. I started with the curd the day before.
I refused to use the curd recipe provided in the magazine on the basis that I believe corn flower is cheating. Also, depending on the corn flour you use, it might not actually be corn. ‘WTF?’ was the first thing I said when I heard some corn flours are made from finely ground wheat. Yep – you’re saying ‘WTF!!?’ too. This isn’t important to most of us, but for a coeliac, it will radically impact their lives in the short to medium term. Please, please, PLEASE do some research on your ingredients before cooking for a person with coeliac disease. It’s the nice thing to do. Unless you don’t like them. Do whatever.
My Lemon Curd Recipe
(this is not the way you’ll find on the internet, but it’s my way because I’m never very good at reading instructions)
2 eggs and 2 yolks
3/4 cup castor sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 lemons, zested (is that a real word?), then juiced
Whisk everything in a saucepan over a low to moderate heat until thickened. Do this continuously, or you might get lumps.
Strain into sterilised jars (for gifts – how generous of you!) or into a tub for the fridge. It keeps for about 2 weeks once opened.
Lemon curd never lasts long around me. You can use extras in muffins/cupcakes. Just spoon your batter into the pans, to half way, then a dollop of curd, then a bit more batter. Bake, then nom. Making lemon curd in an all-in-the-pot way may have some implications on texture, but I have seen many recipes contradicting each other on when the eggs & yolks go in that I feel it can’t make a radical difference. I have also left the zest in before (strained the juice before it was added to the pot), which is obviously lumpy, but I really love zest. So play around with what you can be bothered with. It’s a very forgiving recipe.
Okay, again with the instructions & me not following them. Beat the egg whites until… what? huh? I dunno. Walk 5 steps to check recipe, or just assume it said ‘soft peaks’? Guess what I did. Did it make a difference? I dunno. They taste alright. Maybe they wouldn’t have gone hollow (or maybe that was me opening the open for a peek half way through cooking). I also didn’t cook it for the prescribed 2 hours (wtf?!). I did 1 hour, and they were ever-so-slightly chewy in the middle. They tanned somewhat, so I was bit hesitant to let them cook longer.
I didn’t mix through the components, but I stacked them in the glasses in a few layers. The pistachios weren’t needed for taste. They added a different level of texture, but even visually, they looked a bit of an after thought. I suppose the Mess would have looked a bit plain without the contrasting colour. Strawberries are coming into season. I think they’d be great. Or raspberries. I love raspberries. And mangoes. Definitely needs mango.
To conclude, this was an absolutely delicious dessert. It would be a cracker on a hot day after a BBQ, but I would add more fruit. Tomo called it ‘Pavlova in a cup’. He’s not too far off. His favourite bits of a pav are the cream & the crunch. He’s willing to sit through the occasional piece of fruit to get a whole cup full. The lemon curd cuts through any lingering greasy flavours from dinner, but is so more-ish. Again, things could be simplified by buying meringue from the shop. But if your meringue needs work any way (*blush*), you may as well make it from scratch.
Next: What I did for dinner!