Fast festive flan
( SERVES 6 )
I made a filo flan for the base, but you could also use a sponge flan from your supermarket or deli. The mascarpone filling is versatile: use in profiteroles, sponge cakes, chocolate logs and more. The mini meringues will keep in an airtight container in a cool place for weeks. Excellent for serving with coffee or decorating cakes and desserts.
|4 sheets||Filo pastry|
|25 g||Butter, melted|
|600 g||Strawberries, hulled, or a mixture of berries|
|12||Mini meringues, see recipe, optional|
- Using an electric beater, whip the mascarpone and salt until light. With the motor running, gradually add the cream, then the icing sugar. Cover and refrigerate — for 4 hours or up to 2 days — until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C. Brush each sheet of filo with butter and layer in a 20cm flan dish, placing each sheet on an angle to the other so the dish is evenly covered. Fold in the pastry edges to form a neat rim. Line the filo with greased foil.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for a few minutes, until the centre is lightly coloured. Cool. Prepare 2-3 days ahead and store in an airtight container.
- To serve, fill the flan with the mascarpone. Halve any large strawberries. Pile on top of the mascarpone. Dot with mini meringues (if using) sandwiched together with whipped cream. Great served dusted with icing sugar and garnished with mint leaves.
- To make the mini meringues, preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Whisk the egg white and salt in a small bowl until stiff. Gradually add the caster sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth and glossy. Drop or pipe small teaspoonfuls onto the tray — it should make about 20. Place in the oven.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 130°C. Bake the meringues for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues to cool.