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As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

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Lunch or dinner, salads or skewers, pork proves itself as a cut above and a versatile go-to. From soy-glazed pork-and-pineapple skewers and spicy bourbon pork to hand-cut pork sausages and a pork scratchings sandwich with apple and cabbage slaw, these recipes will appeal to any pork enthusiast.

Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

Vacherin


You'll need

5 eggwhites 400 gm caster sugar Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean For greasing: vegetable oil 150 ml pouring cream, whisked to soft peaks, sweetened with icing sugar to taste 1 mango, thinly sliced Pulp of 2 passionfruit   Pineapple and lime sorbet 1.2 kg pineapple (about 1 pineapple), coarsely chopped 120 ml lime juice (about 5 limes) 75 gm (1/3 cup) caster sugar 100 gm liquid glucose (see note)   Mango and passionfruit sorbet 3 mangoes, coarsely chopped 250 ml passionfruit pulp (about 12 passionfruit) 70 gm caster sugar 100 gm liquid glucose

Method

  • 01
  • For pineapple and lime sorbet, process pineapple in a food processor until puréed, then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl to yield 500ml juice (discard solids). Add lime juice, whisk in sugar. Melt glucose in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, remove from heat, add to pineapple mixture, whisk to combine, then freeze in an ice-cream machine. Transfer to a 1.5cm-deep 8cm x 28cm tray lined with baking paper, smooth top and freeze until firm (3-4 hours). Cut 6 rounds of sorbet with a 7cm-diameter pastry cutter dipped in hot water, place on a tray lined with baking paper and freeze until required.
  • 02
  • For mango and passionfruit sorbet, process mango in a food processor until puréed, transfer to a bowl, add passionfruit, whisk in sugar. Melt glucose in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, remove from heat, add to mango mixture, whisk to combine, then freeze in an ice-cream machine. Transfer to a 1.5cm-deep 8cm x 28cm tray lined with baking paper, smooth top and freeze until firm (3-4 hours). Cut 6 rounds of sorbet with a 7cm-diameter pastry cutter dipped in hot water, place on a tray lined with baking paper and freeze until required.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 100C. Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then, whisking continuously, gradually add sugar and vanilla and whisk until thick and glossy. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe 18 rounds 5mm thick and 7cm in diameter onto trays lightly oiled and lined with baking paper. Smooth tops, bake until crisp but not coloured (1¼-1½ hours), then cool completely on trays.
  • 04
  • Place 6 meringue discs on serving plates, top with rounds of mango and passionfruit sorbet, then meringue discs, then pineapple and lime sorbet, then meringue discs. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, mango slices and passionfruit pulp, and serve immediately.
Note Liquid glucose is available from supermarkets and health-food shops.

This recipe is from the December 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Meringues are so beautiful in their own right that they require little adornment. Perhaps a dollop of cream. Certainly a tumble of seasonal fruit. Hence the popularity of the classic pavlova. And while we love a pav as much as (or possibly more than) the next person, it hasn’t stopped our heads being turned by the towering vacherin. Named after the cheese whose colour and shape it resembles, it consists, classically, of meringue filled with cream or ice-cream or both. History tells us that the word “meringue” first appeared in print in 1691, in a French cookbook, and, according to The Oxford Companion to Food, made its way into English by 1706.

In this modern version of the vacherin, inspired by a dessert from Sydney’s Bathers’ Pavilion, thin discs of crisp meringue and rounds of tropical fruit sorbet go together to make the perfect final flourish for a summer meal. And while it is fairly involved, the plus side of it is that almost all the preparation can be done in advance – it requires just a little assembling when you are ready to serve it.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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