This is my kind of dessert. Although there is a little technique involved, everything is done well before dinner and a quick assembly results in an elegant and pretty dish.
12 ripe blood plums, split and pitted
4 tbsp muscovado or light-brown sugar
1 lemon, juiced
double cream, to serve
80g light-brown sugar, plus extra to garnish
4 large egg whites
100g castor sugar
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp toasted walnuts, finely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place plums in a ceramic dish, mix with sugar and lemon juice, let sit for 10 minutes cut side down. Bake for 25 minutes or until the plums are fully cooked and starting to collapse.
2. Take the plums from the liquid; reduce liquid in a saucepan on the stove until syrupy.
1. Preheat oven to 100 degrees fan-forced or 120 degrees conventional. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
2. Sift brown sugar into a bowl. Set aside.
3. Beat egg whites to soft peaks. Rain the castor sugar into the whites in three lots, beating as you go, until the whites are glossy and thick. With the motor still running, steadily rain in the brown sugar, then mix for five more minutes on high speed.
4. Spoon teaspoon-sized blobs of meringue onto the lined trays, leaving space between.
5. Sprinkle over the ground cloves, toasted walnuts and extra brown sugar.
6. Bake for about 90 minutes or until the meringues are dehydrated and crisp. Turn the oven off and leave the door ajar until the meringues are quite cold.
7. Serve the plum halves in glasses with a splash of the plum syrup, a dollop of cream and the walnut meringue kisses on top.