Brown sugar meringue with apples

Skim the kitchen shelves of any self-professed cookbook lover and you’ll find at least one good hardback by Yotam Ottolenghi. This year, the beloved London chef has released yet another instant classic with Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things, “bold, vegetable-forward recipes plus homemade sauces, condiments, and more to build a flavor-packed pantry”. We can hear the thud of the book landing on doorsteps everywhere. 

Ottolenghi partnered with Noor Murad and their “test kitchen superteam” for this volume, turning out recipes like this one that we shared over the Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy the unique elements of burnt honey and orange paired with classic seasonal flavors in the team’s epic dessert…

Brown Sugar Meringue Roulade with Burnt Honey Apples

This meringue roulade with warming cinnamon, burnt honey, sweet apples, and tangy orange come together to make a dessert fit for the festive season. Make sure all your individual components have completely cooled before assembling—you don’t want to create any excess moisture in the roulade. Get ahead by preparing the apples and cream the day before, keeping them refrigerated until needed.

Ottolenghi recipe book

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes to 3 hours
Serves 8

For the apples…
7 tbsp honey
1 vanilla pod halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved with the pod
5 fresh bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp flaked sea salt
3½ tbsp orange juice
2 lb 7 oz Braeburn apples (7–8), peeled, cored, and each cut into 6 wedges (or 8 if they’re larger)
1 tbsp olive oil

For the roulade…
1 cup egg whites (from 6 large eggs or from an egg white carton)
packed 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp cornstarch

For the cream…
2/3 cup heavy cream, fridge cold
3 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1 cup plus 2 tbsp mascarpone, fridge cold
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest, plus 1 tsp extra to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Start making the filling. Put the honey, vanilla seeds and pod, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, ground cinnamon, and salt into a large ovenproof sauté pan on medium high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5–6 minutes, stirring often, until the honey is deeply brown (don’t be afraid to take it to the edge; you want it to be very dark). Off the heat, whisk in the orange juice. Gently pour 3 tbsp of the burnt honey into a heatproof bowl. Pick out the bay leaves and vanilla pod and add them to the bowl.

3. Stir the apples and olive oil into the sauté pan with the remaining burnt honey, then transfer to the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the apples have softened and caramelized but still retain their shape. Set aside to cool completely. Pick out the cinnamon stick and add it to the reserved burnt honey bowl. Keep the oven on.

4. Make the roulade. Line a large 16 x 12-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.

5. Put the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute, until soft peaks form. Combine both sugars in a bowl and gradually add this to the mixer, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously on high speed for 5 minutes, until the mixture is a thick glossy meringue. Decrease the speed to low and add the vanilla paste, cinnamon, vinegar and cornstarch. Turn the speed to medium and whisk for 1 minute, to fully combine.

6. Spoon the meringue onto the prepared sheet and use a spatula to spread it out evenly so it’s about 14 x 10 inches. Transfer to the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 400°F. Bake for 30–32 minutes, until the meringue is crusty on top and lightly brown. Set aside to deflate and cool completely.

7. Prepare the cream by first putting the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and mascarpone into the cleaned bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed for 1–2 minutes, until soft peaks form. Stir in the orange zest.

8. Place a clean kitchen towel on top of the cooled meringue and quickly invert the whole thing on to a work surface. Lift the pan off and peel away the lining. Spread three-quarters of the cream evenly all over the meringue. Top evenly with the burnt honey apples (reserving any liquid released from the apples for another use).

9. Starting with the longest side closest to you and using the kitchen towel to assist you, roll the meringue up and over, so that the edges come together to form a log. Gently pull away the towel as you roll, then slide the meringue onto a long platter, seam side down. Use a serrated knife to trim off 3/4 inch from the sides to create neat edges (nibble on these if you like!). Refrigerate to firm up, at least 30 minutes (and up to 3 hours if you’re getting ahead).

10. To serve, spoon the remaining cream down the length of the roulade. Top artfully with the bay leaves, vanilla pod halves, and cinnamon stick. Drizzle with the reserved burnt honey syrup and sprinkle with the extra zest.

Once you’ve mastered the roulade, the fillings and flavorings are yours to play with! Pears and cardamom would be a treat here too, as would fresh figs and broken chocolate chips.

Adapted from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things Copyright © 2022 by Yotam Ottolenghi LLP. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Elena Heatherwick. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.

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