“This is my favourite dessert. It’s an original creation that I first made about three years ago. The flavours change with the seasons; sometimes I make a white peach or a mulberry version, but guava is my favourite. Strawberry guavas have a deep pink flesh and an exotic, intoxicating scent. The combination of the fool, the granita and the ice-cream-filled poached meringue is a textural treat. Coating the snow egg in a maltose biscuit adds another dimension – as you crack through the toffee biscuit it gives way to the soft meringue filled with the custard apple ice-cream. This dessert is incredibly refreshing and, for me, everything a dessert should be.” –
Guava Snow Egg
600 g strawberry guavas
100 g fresh strawberries
100 g caster sugar
800 g strawberry guavas
175 g caster sugar
½ vanilla bean, split and scraped
400 ml cream
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
80 g caster sugar
100 g vanilla custard (see step 3)
100 g double cream
400 g guava purée (see step 2)
Custard apple ice-cream
200 ml milk
6 egg yolks
200 g caster sugar
1-2 large, very ripe custard apples
100 ml cream
300 g egg white
300 g caster sugar
To dust: pure icing sugar
200 g liquid maltose (see note)
100 g caster sugar
20 g flaked almonds
For the guava granita, cut the guavas in half, scoop out the seeds and flesh and discard the skin. Weigh out 400 g of flesh. Roughly dice the guava flesh and strawberries. Combine the sugar and 500 ml (2 cups) of water in a large saucepan, bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Add the diced fruit and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to infuse at room temperature for 2 hours. Pass the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin cloth and discard the solids. Pour the guava syrup into a ceramic or stainless-steel container to a depth of 5cm. Place the container in the freezer for a period of no less than 12 hours. Every 2-3 hours, remove the container from the freezer and scrape with a fork to form the granita crystals.
For the guava purée, cut the guavas in half, scoop out the seeds and discard them, then scoop out the flesh from the skin. Weigh out 375 g of flesh. Put 250 ml (1 cup) of water in a saucepan and add the sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to the boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, add the guava flesh and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the vanilla bean. Drain the liquid from the guava flesh and place the flesh in a blender. Add just enough of the liquid to process into a thick guava purée. Pass the purée through a fine sieve and set it aside in the refrigerator.
For the vanilla custard, preheat the oven to 160 C. Put the cream and vanilla beans in a saucepan. Heat until the cream just begins to boil, then remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks, egg and sugar in a stainless-steel bowl. While whisking, slowly pour on the hot vanilla cream. Mix well then remove the vanilla beans. Strain the mixture into four 175 ml ceramic ramekins, place the ramekins in a deep-sided baking tray, then pour enough water into the baking tray to come halfway up the side of the ramekins. Place in the oven and cook the custard for about 30-35 minutes, or until just set. Remove the custards from the water bath and refrigerate for 5-6 hours, or until they are chilled and set. Remove the skin from the top before using. This recipe makes 400 g.
For the guava fool, whisk together the vanilla custard and cream in a bowl to form soft peaks. Place guava purée in a bowl and gently fold through vanilla cream to form a rippled effect. Do this just before you’re ready to assemble the dessert.
For the custard apple ice-cream, put the milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together, then, while whisking, pour the boiled milk onto the egg yolk and sugar mixture. Pour the mixture into a stainless-steel bowl, place over a pan of simmering water without letting the base of the bowl touch the water, and whisk continuously for 10 minutes. Place the bowl of sabayon over ice to cool. Meanwhile, scoop out the flesh from one custard apple into a fine sieve lined with a double layer of muslin cloth. Gather the muslin at the top and squeeze the ripe custard apple flesh tightly to obtain a clear juice. You will need 300 ml of clear juice (you may need to use the second custard apple). Whisk the juice into the sabayon, along with the cream. Transfer the mixture into an ice-cream machine and churn until frozen. Place the ice-cream in a container in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
For the poached meringue, preheat the oven to 120 C. For this recipe you will need a 6 cm-diameter hemisphere silicone mold sheet (see note). Whisk the egg whites in an electric mixer until they form soft peaks, then slowly add the sugar. Once the meringue forms firm peaks and the sugar has dissolved, place the meringue into 16 hemisphere molds. Place the meringues in a water bath large enough to hold the silicone mould sheet and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the water bath to cool completely. Unmould the meringues and store in the refrigerator on a tray lined with silicone paper.
For the maltose tuiles, heat the maltose and sugar in a medium-sized pan to 140 C. Add the flaked almonds and immediately pour the mixture onto a silicone mat. Put aside to cool completely. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat. Process the hard praline in a food processor to form a fine powder. Transfer the praline mixture into a course sieve and sift the praline onto the silicone mat in a fine layer, about 1 mm thick. You may have to work in batches, depending on the size of your tray. Place in the oven and melt the praline until it forms a clear liquid paste. Remove from the oven and before the praline becomes too hard, cut it into eight 15 cm circles using a metal circle cutter. When each circle has cooled and become hard, store in an airtight container, placing a sheet of silicone paper between each one.
To finish and plate, take eight of the poached hemisphere meringues. Using a teaspoon, remove a small scoop from the centre of each meringue, being careful not to break through the outer edge. Place a small scoop of custard apple ice-cream inside the hole you have just made. Scoop a small hole in the remaining eight meringues and invert them over the ice-cream-filled hemispheres to form a complete sphere. Place a maltose tuile on top of each sphere and, working gently with a kitchen blowtorch, melt the tuile over the sphere so that it wraps around the meringue. Dust the spheres with icing sugar. Place a generous spoonful of the guava fool in the bottom of each serving glass. Top the fool with the guava granita, then place the ice-cream-filled meringue spheres on top of the granita and serve.
Note: Liquid maltose is available from Asian supermarkets and specialty food shops such as The Essential Ingredient. Hemisphere silicone molds are available from specialist kitchenware suppliers such as Chefs’ Warehouse.
Excepted from Quay: food inspired by nature by Peter Gilmore, photography by Anson Smart (Murdoch Books, 2010).