Winter mess

Serves 4 -6winter-mess

Ingredients

For the pomegranate and cranberry compote

  • 500ml fresh cranberries
  • 1 pomegranate, using only the seeds
  • 45ml fresh orange juice (using the zest from 1 orange – to be reserved for the meringue)
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 5ml vanilla extract

For the Chantilly cream

  • 250ml double cream
  • 5ml vanilla extract
  • 15ml caster sugar

For the Orange mini meringues

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 5ml orange blossom water
  • Zest from 1 orange

For the pomegranate syrup

  • 65ml water
  • 65ml caster sugar
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds
  • 15ml pomegranate molasses

Method

For the Pomegranate and cranberry compote

  • Place all the ingredients into a medium sized saucepan. Over a medium heat, stir the mixture occasionally to ensure that all the sugar has dissolved.
  • After about five minutes, remove the pan from the heat. Using a hand held stick blender, blend the mixture together until all the pomegranate seeds have been broken down.
  • Pass the liquid through a sieve into a clean pan to remove any unwanted husks and return to the heat. Cook for a further five minutes or until the compote gets thicker, stirring occasionally so the sugar does not burn the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.

For the Chantilly cream

  • Place the cream, vanilla and sugar into a clean bowl. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat until soft peaks have formed.
  • Take this a little bit further but take care not to over whip the cream.
  • Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

For the Orange mini meringues

  • When making the meringue, ensure the bowl and whisk are clean because any grease will prevent the egg whites from whipping up.
  • On a low speed to begin with, whisk the egg whites for about two minutes. Gradually increase the speed and continue whisking until soft peaks have formed.
  • At this stage the whites should be cloudy and foamy. Gradually add the caster sugar, which will turn the egg whites to a glossy white colour. The peaks should also stiffen.
  • Fold in the orange blossom water right at the end.
  • Place into a piping bag with a nozzle size of about 8mm. Pipe small shapes into a baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper.
  • Using a zester, grate the orange zest over the wet meringues.
  • Place the meringues into a cool oven and allow them to slowly dry out for about two hours.

For the Pomegranate syrup

  • Place the sugar and water into a small pan, placed over a medium heat, to make a simple syrup.
  • Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool.
  • Remove the seeds from the shell of the pomegranate and place into the syrup. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the syrup. Using a hand blender, blitz together, and pass through a sieve.
  • If the mixture is too thin, then return to the stove and reduce until the right consistency is achieved.
  • Finally add the pomegranate molasses to the syrup to give it a sharpness (optional).

To complete

Place a quenelle of Chantilly cream onto a plate. Next to the cream, add a tablespoon of the cranberry and pomegranate compote.  Arrange a few of the meringues over the Chantilly cream and compote. Drizzle the sauce around the plate and garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and honey cress.