Vacherin with its layer of creamy ice cream and crisp meringue is the French equivalent to pavlova.
French vanilla bean ice-cream
- 375 ml (1½ cups) whole milk
- 625 ml (2½ cups) thickened cream
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped
- 8 egg yolks
- 4 eggwhites
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- ½ cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
- 1¼ cups frozen raspberries, thawed
- ¾ cup icing sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 500 ml (2 cups) thickened cream
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- ⅓ cup icing sugar
- 1 punnet raspberries
- 2 strawberries, thinly sliced
- ½ punnet blueberries
- ½ punnet redcurrants
- 6 mint leaves
- ¼ cup roughly chopped pistachios
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Churning time: 1 hour
Freezing time: 1 hour
For the pistachio meringue, preheat the oven to 130°C. Trace six 8 cm-diameter circles onto baking paper, flip the paper and use to line an oven tray.
Beat the eggwhites using an electric stand mixer until soft peaks stage. Beat in the sugar, a spoonful at a time. Continue whisking for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is very thick and glossy. Gently fold the pistachios into the meringue mixture.
Transfer the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 12 mm plain nozzle. Pipe six 8 cm-diameter rounds onto the lined tray, piping in a coil, beginning from the centre and piping out, using the circles as a guide.
Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave meringues to dry in oven for 30 minutes, with the door slightly ajar.
For the French vanilla ice-cream, place the milk, cream, half of the sugar, salt and vanilla beans and and seeds in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to just starting to boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar and the egg yolks until combined. Add ½ cup of the milk mixture and whisk to combine, then whisk in another ½ cup of milk.
Add the egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture in the pan and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously until the custard coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes – do not allow the mixture to boil. Strain the custard into a bowl placed in an ice bath, then refrigerate until chilled.
Churn the custard in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pour into a shallow baking tin and freeze until firm.
Use a cutter to cut out 4 circles the same size as the meringues. Place the circles back into the freezer until needed.
For the coulis, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process for a minute until a puree. Pass through a strainer and refrigerate until needed.
Crème Chantilly, whisk the cream until soft peaks, then gently fold through the icing sugar and vanilla seeds. Refrigerate until needed.
To serve, decorate serving plates with the coulis. Lightly spread the base of 2 meringues with the crème and place on the plates, top with an ice cream disc and arrange a layer of strawberries on top. Repeat layering. Top with a meringue, spread with a layer of crème and arrange a layer of raspberries on top to finish. Garnish with a mint leaf, scatter over the pistachios and arrange the redcurrants alongside.
This recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.
This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.