Yield: 4 servings
|Blackcurrants; (weight without
|Light brown sugar to finish
|Lemon juice; boiled and cooled
|Grated zest of 1 lemon
|And 2 tbsp sugar
|Liquid glucose; (light corn syrup)
Combine the blackcurrants and granulated sugar in a saucepan and stew over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a thick jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To make the creme patissiere, heat the milk in a heavy saucepan until boiling. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture turns white.
Add the cornflour, then add the hot milk and lemon juice and mix well. Pour back into the saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring well. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a bit. Soak the gelatine in cold water until softened, then squeeze dry and add to the creme. Stir well. Set aside.
To make the meringue Italienne, put the sugar, water and glucose in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 2 minutes, then check the temperature of the syrup. Use a sugar thermometer (you should be at the soft ball stage) or your fingers: dip two fingers into a small bowl of cold water, dip quickly into the syrup and then immediately dip again into the cold water. You should be able to form the syrup into a ball between your fingers. As soon as the syrup has reached the correct temperature, remove the pan from the heat. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl using an electric mixer. When the whites are stiff, gradually whisk in the sugar syrup. Continue whisking until the meringue is completely cooled.
Fold the meringue into the creme patissiere using a rubber spatula. Fold in the lemon zest.
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/gas 3.
Put 2 spoonfuls of the lemon cream into each of the 4 buttered individual gratin dishes. Divide the blackcurrant 'jam' among the dishes and top with the rest of the lemon cream. Smooth the top. Sprinkle with an even layer of brown sugar and melt and colour with a blow torch or under the grill (broiler). Place the dishes in the oven and heat for 6-8 minutes. Serve immediately.
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