Peter Gilmore is reintroducing his most showstopping dessert - the Snow Egg. This famous dessert includes a smooth custard and apple ice cream, with hints of guava and poached meringue
Recipe by: Peter Gilmore
- Preheat one oven to 200C and a second oven to 150C. Turn on an ice cream machine to pre-chill.
- For the Granita, place sugar and 500ml of water in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, add guava and strawberries, then reduce heat and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to infuse at room temperature, for 30 minutes.
- Once infused, pass the syrup through a muslin lined sieve into a bowl, discarding the solids. Place the bowl over an ice bath, stirring syrup frequently, until cold. Pour the cold syrup into a 25cm x 35cm lamington tin and place in the blast chiller until solid in the middle. Once solid, transfer to the freezer until ready to serve.
- For the Custard Apple Ice Cream, place a medium saucepan of water over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- Place milk in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, place egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk together by hand until thick and pale. While continuing to whisk, pour boiling milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking until combined. Place the bowl of egg mixture over the saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture has thickened and reaches 85C, about 12 -15 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Strain mixture into a clean bowl and place over an ice bath. Allow to sit, stirring frequently, until mixture is cold.
- Meanwhile, cut custard apples in half and scoop the flesh into a Thermomix, being careful to remove and discard all seeds. Add sugar syrup and blend to a smooth purée. Pass purée through a fine sieve, discarding the solids. Transfer the purée into an ultra-bag sieve and, wearing gloves, squeeze the purée through the ultra-bag into a clean bowl. Discard the solids, then measure out 300 grams of the purée into a clean bowl.
- Add the 300 grams of custard apple purée and the pouring cream to the cooled milk and egg mixture and stir until combined. Transfer the mixture to the pre-chilled ice cream machine and churn until set, about 60 minutes. Once churned, transfer the ice cream to a 15cm x 25cm gastro tray and place in the freezer until ready to assemble the Snow Eggs.
- For the Vanilla Cream, place 4 half cup capacity soufflé pots in a small baking dish.
- Place pouring cream and vanilla bean halves and seeds in a small saucepan and set over low heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, place egg yolks and sugar in a metal bowl and whisk until combined. While whisking the eggs, slowly pour in the hot vanilla cream, whisking until well combined. Strain the mixture, then divide evenly between the soufflé pots. Cover the pots tightly with foil, then fill the baking dish with hot water to come halfway up the soufflé pots. Place baking dish in the 150C oven and cook until the custard is just set, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, remove moulds from water bath and place in fridge until chilled.
- Increase oven to 180C.
- Using a silicone spatula, transfer 100g of the chilled custard from the soufflé pots to a clean medium metal bowl. Add double cream and whisk by hand to form medium peaks. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in the fridge, until ready to serve.
- For the Poached Meringue, spray 2 sheets of 60mm silicon dome moulds lightly with canola oil spray and sit inside a baking dish.
- Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until soft peaks form. Continue to whisk while very slowly adding the sugar. Keep whisking until the eggs form firm peaks and the sugar has dissolved. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and snip the end to 2cm wide.
- Pipe the mixture into the prepared moulds so that mixture sits 1 -2 cm above the surface of the moulds. Pour hot water into the baking dish to halfway up the moulds. Place in the 200C oven to cook until just set, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, until meringues start to contract away from the edges of the moulds slightly.
- To unmould the meringues, place a small bowl of cold water on the bench and prepare a flat baking tray lined with baking paper. Dipping fingers in to the water, gently unmould the meringues using middle fingers to push down on one edge, flip over the meringue dome and scoop each meringue out. Place meringue domes flat side down on the paper lined tray. Set aside in the fridge until ready to assemble the Snow Eggs.
- For the Maltose Tuiles, place maltose and sugar in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to combine. Continue boiling, brushing down the sides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush, until hard crack stage, about 170C. Remove from heat, quickly add flaked almonds and immediately pour the mixture onto a silicon mat, spreading thinly. Set aside to cool completely.
- Once cooled, break the almond toffee into small pieces and transfer to a small blender. Process to form a fine powder.
- Lay the 11cm circle acetate stencil on a flat baking tray lined with baking paper. Sift praline powder, through a drum sieve, over the circle cut outs to form two thin, even rounds. Remove the acetate stencil, wipe clean and repeat the process to form another 2 rounds on a second paper lined baking tray.
- Place the two baking trays in the180C oven and cook until praline has melted completely, about 1-2 minutes. Remove trays from oven and set aside for tuiles to cool completely. Peel the cooled tuiles off the paper and transfer to an airtight container lined with baking paper. Place layers of baking paper between each tuile. Set aside, in the bench, until ready to assemble the Snow Eggs.
- For the Guava Purée, place sugar, vanilla bean and seeds and 250ml water in a saucepan and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, add guava then lower heat and allow to simmer until very soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain, reserving both the guava and liquid. Discard the vanilla bean and transfer the cooked guava flesh to a Thermomix jug. Blend, adding just enough of the cooking liquid, to make a thick purée. Pass the purée through a fine sieve, discarding the solids. Transfer the purée into an ultra-bag sieve and, wearing gloves, squeeze the purée through the ultra-bag into a clean bowl. Discard the solids, then measure out 100g of purée into a clean bowl and set aside, covered, in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Remove Guava Granita from the freezer and scrape into crystals with a fork. Return the tray of granita to the freezer until needed.
- To finish the meringue domes, place a bowl of cold water and a small offset spatula on the bench. Line a flat baking tray with Go-Between freezer film and place on the bench. Remove the tray of meringue domes from the fridge. Using wet hands and a wet offset spatula, gently slice the excess meringue from the flat side of 6 of the domes to form a smooth, level surface. Place the trimmed meringue domes on to the baking tray lined with Go-Between, flat side up, and return to the fridge until ready to assemble the Snow Eggs.
- For the Guava Fool, add the 100g of the Guava Purée to the Vanilla Cream and fold through gently to form a rippled effect. Set aside until needed.
- Remove the tray of trimmed meringue domes from the fridge. Using a small ice cream scoop, remove a small scoop from the centre of each Poached Meringue dome, being careful not to break through the outer edge. Return each hollowed out dome to the tray lined with Go-Between.
- Remove the Custard Apple Ice Cream from the freezer. Using the small ice cream scoop, scoop a sphere of the ice cream and place in three of the hollowed out domes. Invert the other three domes over the top to form complete spheres. Use wet fingers to stick the two halves together.
- Using a small offset spatula, wet the spatula and trim a thin slice from the bottom of each sphere to create a flat base for the sphere to sit on. Return the spheres to the film lined tray, flat side down and spaced apart.
- Place a Maltose Tuile on top of each meringue sphere and, using a blow torch and an even motion, quickly melt tuile over the sphere.
- Using the shaker, dust the meringue eggs liberally with icing sugar to form a thick, even coating.
- Working quickly, begin to plate the Snow Eggs. Spoon about 1½ - 2 tablespoons of the Guava Fool into the bottom of the 3 serving glasses.
- Top the fool with 3 – 4 tablespoons of the Guava Granita, to just below the widest part of the glass. Using the back of a spoon, push out a shallow hole in the granita in each glass, about 6cm in diameter, to sit the Snow Egg in.
- Using two teaspoons, pick up each Snow Egg and place into the hollow in the granita. Lift the spoons out, following the curve of the eggs, taking care not to touch the meringue. Serve immediately.