Jan Hendrik’s sago, meringue, hibiscus and berry dessert

Anina's Recipes
Prep: 3 hrs 30 mins
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A show-stopping dessert recipe from Michelin star chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen.

By Food24 May 23 2017
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Ingredients (15)

For the Meringue:
60 g eggs — white
120 g castor sugar
For the compote:
1 kg blueberries — fresh or frozen
100 g castor sugar
lemons — juice only
2 vanilla — pod, split, seeds scraped
For the Sago pudding:
1/2 c tapioca — or sago pearls
3 c milk
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla — extract
ice cream — vanilla bean
dried hibiscus flowers
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Combine the egg whites and castor sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Place the bowl over a bain-marie prepared in a sauce pan. Whip using a whisk until hot and all the sugar has dissolved. Connect the bowl with the standing mixer and beat a maximum speed until light and fluffy.

Prepare a silicon baking sheet with cook spray and a dusting of corn flour. Tap off the extra corn flour and use a medium sized cookie cutter to mark each circle clearly where to pipe. 

Use a plain piping nozzle and pipe the meringue in domes the size of a small hand palm when made into a closed hand. The size should be big enough to fill it with the filling of sago, berry compote and ice cream. So in other words quite high, but not too high. (if that makes sense)  Once they are piped. Rest the meringues for 30 min before baking at 80 degrees for 2 hours. Remove and cool down.

Then very carefully turn the meringue around and using a sharp knife point remove the bottom of the meringue hollowing out the inside and making space for the filling. Carefully place them back on the tray and reserve until needed.  

Mix half the berries and the full amount of sugar in a large pot and slowly poach the berries until tangy and thick. Add the vanilla seeds and lemon juice and continue to simmer until you reach the consistency of a compote/jam. Add the remaining berries 10 minutes before the end and simmer on low heat. Place aside to cool down. 

For the rest of the filling and serving:

Combine tapioca, milk, and salt in a pan on medium high heat. Stir while bringing to a simmer. Lower the heat and cook uncovered, at the lowest possible heat, adding sugar gradually, until the tapioca pearls have plumped up and thickened. Depending on the type or brand of tapioca you are using and if you’ve presoaked the tapioca as some brands call for, this could take anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes of cooking at a very low temperature. Stir occasionally so that the tapioca doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Mix in some of the hot tapioca very slowly to equalize the temperature of the two mixtures (to avoid curdling).

Return eggs to pan with tapioca. Increase the heat to medium and stir for several minutes until you get a thick pudding consistency. Do not let the mixture boil or the tapioca egg custard will curdle. Cool 15 minutes. Stir in vanilla and cool down.

To serve:
Full cream Vanilla bean ice cream, slightly softened.

Dried Hibiscus powder or alternate with cocoa powder.

Full cream and vanilla paste.

Assemble the dessert with starting to hold the meringue upside down in your hand.

Start filling it with a tablespoon of Ice cream, followed by the berry compote and then the sago pudding. Put enough sago to also use as a glue to put the meringue back on the plate but not too much so that it shows. It still need to look clean and neat. Place the meringue carefully back onto the plate. Mix the cream and vanilla paste to your liking and pour over the meringue. Dust with dried hibiscus powder or sifted cocoa powder. I use a small tea sift for this. 

Recipe by Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen. You can see Jan Hendrik at the 2017 Good Food & Wine Show in Cape Town. Click  HERE to buy tickets. 


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