If the flavours of autumn could be rolled into one, this meringue roulade would be the result: 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.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes to 3 hours
Photography: Elena Heatherwick
For the apples
150g runny honey
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways, seeds scraped out and reserved with the pod
5 fresh bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp flaked sea salt
31⁄2 tbsp orange juice
1.1kg Braeburn apples (about 7–8), peeled, cored and each cut into 6 wedges (or 8 if they’re larger)
1 tbsp olive oil
For the roulade
250g egg whites (from 6 large eggs, or from an egg white carton)
100g light soft brown sugar
250g caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
11⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp cornflour
For the cream
150ml whipping cream, fridge cold
20g icing sugar
250g mascarpone, fridge cold
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest, plus 1 tsp extra to garnish
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.
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 a 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 65g of the burnt honey into a heatproof bowl. Pick out the bay leaves and vanilla pod and add them to the bowl.
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 caramelised 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.
Make the roulade. Line a large 40cm x 30cm baking tray with baking parchment.
Put the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment in place 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, a tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously on high speed for 5 minutes, until the mixture is a thick glossy meringue. Reduce the speed to low and
add the vanilla paste, cinnamon, vinegar and cornflour. Turn the speed to medium and whisk for a minute, to fully combine.
Spoon the meringue on to the prepared tray and use a spatula to spread it out evenly so it’s about 35cm x 25cm. Transfer to the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 180°C fan. Bake for 30–32 minutes, until the meringue is crusty on top and lightly brown. Set aside to deflate and cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the cream by putting the whipping cream, icing sugar and mascarpone into the cleaned bowl of the stand mixer with the whisk attachment in place. Beat on medium speed for 1–2 minutes, until soft peaks form. Stir in the orange zest.
Place a clean tea towel on top of the cooled meringue and quickly invert the whole thing on to a work surface. Lift the tin 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).
Starting with the longest side closest to you and using the tea towel to assist you, roll the meringue up and over, so that the edges come together to form a log. Gently pull away the tea towel as you roll, then slide the meringue on to a long tray or platter, seam side down. Use a serrated knife to trim off 2cm 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).
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.
There are a lot of pretty good things that come out of the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen, which is why the sequel to the first OTK cookbook came so soon after. This one is all about extra elements to add to your meals to bring an additional level of flavour. In classic Ottolenghi style, these recipes are punchy, colourful and the kind that you could easily eat all to yourself or impress your pals with. Extracted from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Press, £25) All photography by Elena Heatherwick.