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Vacherin

Australian Gourmet Traveller classic dish recipe for tropical fruit sorbet vacherin.

By Alice Storey
  • Serves 6
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 35 mins cooking plus freezing, cooling
Tropical fruit sorbet vacherin
Tropical fruit sorbet vacherin

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 , 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.

Layer crisp meringue with fruit, top it with cream, and what do you get? A beautiful vacherin, writes Emma Knowles.

Ingredients

  • 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 caster sugar (1/3 cup)
  • 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

Main
  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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.
  • 3
    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.
  • 4
    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.

Notes

Liquid glucose is available from supermarkets and health-food shops.
This recipe is from the December 2010 issue of
.

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  • Author: Alice Storey