Hazelnut Meringue Pie Recipe

This dessert from Rachel Allen is half meringue and half cake, and totally heavenly!
Hazelnut Meringue Pie Recipe
Half meringue and half cake, this is an elegant dish that uses a few ingredients to impressive effect. It contains no flour but uses ground hazelnuts and egg yolks to give structure and wonderful flavour to a meringue base. Topped, pavlova-style, with soft whipped cream and strawberries or raspberries, this would make a super end to a meal.

Serves 6 to 10

INGREDIENTS
Butter, for greasing
225g hazelnuts (skin still on) toasted
6 eggs, separated
200g caster sugor

FOR THE TOPPING
350ml double or regular cream, softly whipped
250g fresh raspberries or sliced hulled strawberries or a mix of the two
A few fresh mint leaves (optional)
Icing sugar, for dusting

METHOD
1. Use a 23cm diameter cake spring-form or loose bottomed tin with 6cm sides. Preheat the oven to 170C. Butter the sides of the cake tin and line the base with a disk of baking parchment. If you’re using a spring-form tin, make sure the base is upside down, so there’s no lip and the cake can slide off easily when cooked.
2. Place the toasted hazelnuts in a food processor and whizz for a minute or so until they form a coarse powder with a few larger chunks for texture.
3. Using a hand-held electric beater or an electric food mixer, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together for 5 to 7 minutes or until pale, thick and mousse-like, then fold in the hazelnuts.
4. In a separate, spotlessly clean bowl (and having cleaned the electric beater, if using), whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then gently fold them into the yolk mixture until incorporated.
5. Tip the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cake begins to come away slightly from the edges of the tin. Don’t worry if it dips slightly in the middle.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides using a small, sharp knife, then carefully remove the sides of the tin and leave the cake to cool completely before transferring to a serving plate.
7. Spoon the whipped cream all over the top of the cake, leaving a gap of about 1cm wide around the edge. Scatter the raspberries or strawberries over the cream. Decorate with a few mint leaves.

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