12 ripe blood plums (1 kg)
1 ½ cups caster sugar
1 litre (4 cups) water
¼ cup lemon juice
1 ½ tbsp powdered gelatine
Extra ¼ cup water
3 egg whites, at room temperature
¾ cup caster sugar
600 ml thickened cream
250 g mascarpone cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- To make jelly, use a sharp knife to cut a small cross in the base of each plum. Place in a large heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Stand for about 2 minutes, or until skin starts to come away. Immediately transfer plums to a large bowl of iced water. Peel and discard skin. Cut away flesh. Discard stones.
- Stir sugar and water in large saucepan over a low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil. Gently boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stand pan for 10 minutes. Add plums and juice. Cool to room temperature.
- Sprinkle gelatine over extra water in a small heatproof jug. Stand jug in a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until gelatine is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
- Gently remove plums from with a slotted spoon. Strain syrup into a large jug. Stir in gelatine mixture.
- Arrange half the plums over base of a glass trifle dish (16-cup capacity). Pour over jelly mixture. Refrigerate for about 6 hours, or overnight until set.
- To make meringues, line two oven trays with baking paper. Beat egg whites in a small bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until combined. Continue beating for 3 minutes, or until thick and glossy. Divide between each tray. Spread into a circle about 1cm thick.
- Cook in a very slow oven (120C) for about 1 hour 30 minutes, or until crisp. Turn off oven and cool with door ajar. Coarsely crush meringues.
- To make mascarpone topping, beat thickened cream in small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold in mascarpone and bean paste until just combined.
- To assemble, alternately spoon meringues, remaining plums and mascarpone topping over jelly, finishing with topping. Drizzle with any remaining plum juices.