lime and passion fruit semifreddo, with coconut meringues and passion fruit syrup

It can be really difficult to think of a light and refreshing dessert to serve after a rich and spicy meal. This worked brilliantly well after 2 Indian courses, as it incorporated exotic flavours without being too sweet. This would also be delicious to serve after Thai courses.

I’m not the greatest at piping, so if you’re anything like me, just use a tablespoon to portion out your meringues, and use the back of the spoon to smooth and swirl the top! At least you’re left with a neat shape that’s easy to plate up. This meringue recipe is really light and sweet, as I’ve used icing sugar instead of caster.

As semifreddo is a frozen dessert, you will need to ensure this is made at least a few hours ahead, or ideally the night before, for it to set in time.

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ingredients

for the passion fruit semifreddo

1 x egg yolk

2 x eggs

120g caster sugar

300ml double cream – extra thick double cream is even better if you can get your hands on it!

5 x passion fruit, pulp only

2 x limes, juice only

for the coconut meringues

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

3 x large egg whites, at room temperature

80g icing sugar

pinch of salt

4 heaped tbsp desiccated coconut

1 tsp almond essence

for the passion fruit syrup

5 x passion fruit, pulp only

3 heaped tbsp caster sugar

120ml water

serves 6 (semifreddo and meringues), however syrup will only serve 2 so increase quantities accordingly

method

  1. start with the semifreddo, as it’ll need to set fully in the freezer for at least a few hours before serving. heat a saucepan of water until simmering. in a heat-proof bowl which will comfortably sit on the saucepan, use an electric whisk to combine the egg and egg yolks, and gradually add the sugar until the granules are dissolved, and the mixture is creamy.
  2. move the bowl to sit on the pan, and continue to whisk for a further 5-6 minutes. remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. in a separate bowl, use the electric whisk to whip up the double cream until it forms soft peaks. add half of the cream to the egg mixture, and gently fold in with a spatula until combined. add the other half of the cream, plus the passion fruit pulp and lime juice. again, fold in until combined.
  4. use cling film to cover the bottom of the mould/tin you plan to freeze it in – i used a loaf shaped silicone mould. pour in the mixture, and leave in the freezer to set. you’ll need approx. 6 hours.
  5. in the mean time, work on your meringues and syrup as they need to have cooled down to room temperature before serving. for the meringues, pre-heat your oven to 120ºc.
  6. in a clean bowl, use the electric whisk to beat the cream of tartar and egg whites until soft peaks just begin to form. continue to whisk, and add in 1-2 tbsp at a time of icing sugar until combined. be careful not to over-whisk the mixture – it should be thick and shiny.
  7. gently fold in the desiccated coconut and the almond extract. line a baking tray with grease proof paper, and either use a piping bag or a tablespoon to portion out circular meringues. pop in the oven for 1 hour, until light and crisp.
  8. for the passion fruit syrup, simply add the ingredients to a small saucepan, and stir to combine. over a medium-high heat – leave until the sugar caramelises and begins to reduce and thicken before removing from the heat. make sure you taste it – i like the syrup to remain quite tart, but add more sugar for sweetness or lime juice for tang, it all depends on your own taste. don’t reduce too much, as the liquid will thicken once set aside to cool.
  9. once the meringues are fully baked, leave them to cool down at room temperature on a wire rack.
  10. take your semifreddo out of the freezer 10 mins before serving, to allow it to soften slightly. take a slice, and drizzle the passion fruit syrup over, with the coconut meringues alongside. delicious!
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