Wednesday, 2 April 2008

grapefruit meringue w yoghurt

This dessert was pure joy to eat.

I can also say it was only the second time in my life I have enjoyed grapefruit.

The first time was when I lived in Rome and found a gelataria that served a wonderful, sweet yet tart sorbetto di pomelo. It was so refreshing but I never managed to find another recipe that presented grapefruit in a way I found palatable.

Until now.

Jamie Oliver’s Cook With Jamie came in mighty handy when Jonas and I decided to make some meringues, which we had tried before but never reached perfection.

Using Jamie’s instructions (and of course some shortcuts of our own) we created delectable meringues with crispy edges and soft, chewy centres. There has an absolutely perfect texture and were hands down the best meringues I’ve ever eaten. Props to Jonas and Jamie.

We flavoured our meringues with the zest of a ruby grapefruit, which added an elegant floral, aromatic flavour that we adored.

The dessert was for a casual BBQ, so we went for an Eton Mess presentation: broken shards of meringue, layers of rich honey yoghurt all topped with grapefruit scented strawberries. It was so elegant and fragrant but at the same time unintimidating.

The meringues can either be made into flat discs to form one big “cake” or many little ones, or can be broken into pieces after cooling as we have done.

I topped it all off with my usual macerated strawberries recipe, but omitted the liqueur and used grapefruit juice instead of lemon.

Grapefruit Meringue w Yoghurt & Strawberries
Anna’s very own recipe (using Jamie Oliver’s Basic Meringue as a guide). Serves 6.
500g good quality vanilla yoghurt
6 egg whites
300g caster sugar
Zest of 1 ruby grapefruit
Pinch of salt
Juice of ½ ruby grapefruit
250g strawberries, hulled & halved
3 tablespoons caster sugar, extra
1. Combine strawberries, 3 tablespoons caster sugar and grapefruit juice in a bowl. Mix until sugar dissolves slightly then leave to sit for an hour or two (even overnight), stirring occasionally.
2. Preheat oven to 150’C.
3. Line baking tray with greaseproof paper.
4. In a bowl, whisk eggwhites on a medium speed until they form firm peaks (the upsidedown-bowl-over-head trick).
5. With the whisker running, gradually add the sugar and salt.
6. Turn whisker onto highest setting and whisk for 7-8 minutes or until very white and glossy. If it feels smooth when you rub a little between your fingers, then it’s ready. If it still feels grainy it needs further whisking, although remember too much whisking will make I collapse.
7. Now fold in the grapefruit zest and ensure it’s well combined without loosing too much air.
8. Spoon or pipe onto the baking tray, allowing space for expansion.
9. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes, which allows the outsides to become crispy and the inside to remain gooey. Allow to cool completely.
10. When ready to serve, layer meringue between yoghurt and macerated strawberries and drizzle with strawberry juice.

Jamie’s tips for making perfect meringues are as follows:
- Make sure your equipment is completely clean and dry as even traces of oil and water can prevent the eggs from whipping.
- Use caster sugar because regular sugar makes grainy meringues.
- Make sure the egg whites contain no egg yolk or shell otherwise they won’t whip up properly
- A good meringue mixture has a ratio of 50g caster sugar for every 40g of egg white
- Frozen then defrosted egg whites whip up better than fresh ones (this wasn’t one of Jamie’s but an Aussie chef)

This is my contribution to Monthly Mingle, an event founded by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey? but this month it's under the care of Abby from eat the right stuff.

The theme is Spring Fruit Sensations and gives away Abby's northern hemisphere location, but since it's Autumn in Australia and the beginning of our grapefruit season, I'm sure Abby won't mind my slight deviation!



  1. Looks delicious! I am sure the contrast of the grapefruit and the meringue are a delightful experience.

  2. lovely anna - and your meringue sounds perfect, i do like a chewy centre! thanks for contributing this to the monthly mingle.

  3. I think I should try this - I find grapefruit so bitter!

  4. MMM! now this is a flavor explosion! I love the tangy grapefruit with the sweet strawberries. Lovely for the MM!

  5. If anyone can convert me to Grapefruit I think you have. I can taste how fresh and lovely it is just from the photos. Excellent post.


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