Pistachio Meringue Ice Cream Sandwiches

This is a really delicious treat, either as a sweet canapé or, with Christmas coming up, a light dessert. It is easy to make and you don’t need an ice cream maker to conjure it up as the small amount of alcohol stops the ice cream from becoming too hard and icy. Don’t be tempted to add more alcohol though or it won’t freeze. Also, bearing in mind what strange times we are living through, if for some reason Christmas does not happen, these ice cream sandwiches will happily stay in the freezer until you have munched your way through them all. The recipe was originally from Good Food, but I have altered it a bit and minimised it for the canapé version.


Ingredients - makes at least 8 full sized or 20+ canapés - numbers depend on size

For the ice cream:

1 ripe mango (or a large packet of ready peeled mango chunks)

284ml double cream

4 tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier - omit if serving to children, the ice cream will just be firmer and it may be a bit harder to cut the circles

115g icing sugar

Zest and juice of 1 small orange


For the meringue:

4 large egg whites at room temperature

200g caster sugar

50g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped

Physalis to decorate.


Method

For the ice cream:

Peel the mango and purée in a food processor. Sift in the icing sugar and pulse to mix it in.


Add the orange juice, zest and Cointreau and briefly pulse again.


Whip the cream lightly until it is just starting to thicken. Add the cream to the mango and pulse very briefly to mix.


Line a large baking sheet with cling film and tip the mango cream into it. Smooth the top and freeze.


For the meringue:

Heat the oven to 120°c


Draw circles on 3 sheets of baking parchment (make sure they are spaced out). For the canapé sized ones mine were 4cm across and for the dessert size 7cm - but they can really be any size you like. Line 3 baking sheets with the parchment paper - it is best if the drawn circles are on the under side so they don’t mark the meringues.


In a scrupulously clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Whisk in half the sugar and continue whisking until glossy. Whisk in the remaining sugar one tablespoon at a time.

Finally add the chopped pistachios.

Pipe or carefully spoon the meringue mix into the drawn circles, between 1-2 cm high. Make them as neat as possible.

Bake for about an hour, for the larger ones and a little less the smaller ones, until the meringues are firm. Change the baking sheet positions in the oven after 30 minutes. They are cooked when they lift easily off the parchment without sticking. If you don't have room in your oven for 3 sheets, leave the uncooked meringue in a warm place and cook separately.

Cool the meringues and either store in an airtight tin or fill with the ice cream. As usual, those little silica sachets help keep the meringues crisp. (see Tips page)


To fill:

When the ice cream is firm, cut out discs, a little smaller in size to the meringues, and sandwich between two of them. Store in the freezer until required. Mine don’t last long, but they do keep ready prepared for at least 2 weeks.



To serve:

Fold back the papery outer layer of the physalis and use the little stalk to attach them to your meringues.



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