The layers of creamy ice-cream, tangy sorbet and crisp meringue are deceptively light and refreshing. This is a great make-ahead dessert, and you can always cheat and use a good-quality shop-bought vanilla ice-cream. Begin this recipe a day ahead to freeze the vacherin.
- 500 ml pouring cream
- 100 ml milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- 5 egg yolks
- 90 gm caster sugar
- To serve: fresh raspberries
- 120 gm caster sugar
- 1 tbsp liquid glucose
- 300 gm frozen raspberries, defrosted
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 200 gm eggwhite (about 3½ eggs)
- 200 gm caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 190 gm pure icing sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1Bring cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds to the simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Pour cream mixture over, whisk to combine, then return to pan and stir continuously until mixture thickly coats a spoon (5-6 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, refrigerate until chilled, then churn in an ice-cream machine, transfer to a container and freeze until required.
- 2Meanwhile, for raspberry sorbet, stir sugar, glucose and 60ml water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, cook for 30 seconds, then set aside to cool. Process raspberries, lemon juice and sugar syrup in a food processor to a smooth purée, then pass through a fine sieve (discard seeds). Churn in an ice-cream machine, then freeze until required.
- 3For meringue, preheat oven to 120C. Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then, while whisking continuously, gradually add caster sugar. Whisk until glossy, then whisk in vanilla paste. Sieve icing sugar and cornflour over and fold to combine. Draw two 10cm x 21cm rectangles on each of 2 pieces of baking paper (for 4 rectangles in total) and place, pencil-side down, onto lightly oiled oven trays. Using the templates as a guide, spread meringue into 1cm-thick rectangles, smooth tops and bake, swapping trays halfway through cooking, until crisp but not coloured (1-1½ hours). Cool completely on trays. Meringue will keep stored in an airtight container for a week.
- 4Remove ice-cream and sorbet from freezer to soften slightly. Meanwhile, line a 10cm x 21cm loaf tin with baking paper and place a meringue rectangle in the base (trim edges if necessary). Spread vanilla ice-cream over to 1cm thick, smooth top, then gently press another meringue rectangle on top. Spread raspberry sorbet to 1cm thick over (there may be some sorbet left over), smooth top, then gently press another meringue rectangle on top. Repeat with another layer of vanilla ice-cream and finish with the remaining meringue rectangle. Cover and freeze overnight.
- 5To serve, dip loaf tin in hot water and unmould vacherin onto a board. Thickly slice with a hot, wet knife, transfer to chilled serving plates, scatter with fresh raspberries and serve immediately.