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Brown Sugar Meringues With Sticky Apples And Pears

By Anna Jones

A cool-weather Eton mess. I love these meringues – I use brown sugar, which is pretty unusual for a meringue, but it really works. Granted they won’t be quite as peaky as the ones made with white sugar, but the trade-off is that you get more good chewiness and a deeper light caramel favour.

Photography by Brian Ferry

In the summer I serve these with raspberries and some Greek yoghurt sweetened with honey, sometimes with a little basil or mint stirred through. Sometimes I fold a little melted chocolate (50g) or a tablespoon of cocoa through the meringues to make them chocolatey.

Recipe taken from ‘A Modern Way To Eat’ by Anna Jones

  • Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 4 organic or free-range egg whites
  • 200g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons runny honey
  • grated zest of 1 unwaxed lime
  • 250ml Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt

For the sticky apples and pears

  • 100g unrefined soft light brown sugar
  • 100ml red wine
  • 3 apples, such as spartan or cox’s, peeled, cored and cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 William pears, peeled, cored and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • zest of 1 unwaxed lime, peeled into strips with a vegetable peeler

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/fan 130°C/gas 2 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Put the egg whites into a squeaky clean bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk or in an electric stand mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar while mixing on high speed until the mixture is thick and glossy. It’s ready when you can pinch the mixture and not feel any granules of sugar. Fold in 2 tablespoons of the runny honey, leaving some ripples through the mixture.
  3. Spoon into 8 mounds on the baking tray and bake for 1½–2 hours (depending on how chewy you like your meringues – less time means chewier middles). The meringues are ready when they are set and light to pick up. Put to one side to cool.
  4. For the fruit, put the sugar into a pan with the wine and place on a medium heat. Once it’s bubbling, add the fruit, bay leaf, spices and lime zest. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until soft. Set aside to cool completely.
  5. Fold the lime zest and remaining honey into the yoghurt. Serve the meringues piled with yoghurt, fruit and the syrup from the fruit.

Anna Jones is a cook, stylist and writer.

One grey, late-for-work day, she decided to quit her office job after reading an article about following your passion by which bit of the newspaper you read first.

Within days, she had a place on the training programme at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in London. After earning her stripes there, she went to chef at Le Caprice in London and also cooked in Spain and the Chianti fields of Tuscany. She then returned to the Jamie Oliver family to work as his food stylist, writer and food creative on books, TV shows and food campaigns. During that time, she cooked in all sorts of places, from East End school kitchens and Sydney beaches to American Indian reservations. She helped shape up the fattest town in America, led cooking classes at the TED talks and cooked for rock stars, royalty and the G20 at Downing Street.

After seven incredible years at Jamie Oliver, Anna now works independently as a stylist and food writer in London. She has worked with some of the best-loved cooks and chefs of our time, from Antonio Carluccio to Yotam Ottolenghi, Sophie Dahl to the Fabulous Baker Brothers. She has also worked with some of the country’s biggest food brands, including Daylesford, Leon and innocent drinks, for whom she wrote the book Hungry?

Anna believes that vegetables should be put at the centre of every table, and is devoted to helping people make a long-term commitment to eating well and feeling amazing. She is led by the joy of food – the spritz of freshness when you peel an orange or the crackle and waft of deep savoury spice when you add curry leaves to a pan of hot oil – and thinks that healthy eating is as much about pleasure as anything else.

Anna writes regular columns for The Guardian Cook and The Pool. She lives, writes and cooks in Hackney, East London. For examples of her styling work, please click here.