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Gloriously low fat, temptingly moreish, refreshingly easy and irresistibly yum.

I took:

  • 1 large or 2 small firm pears
  • 1 orange
  • 2 firm late plums
  • 1 blood grapefruit

But you can also use apples, persimmons, bananas or anything else that takes your fancy, except for maybe the softest berries or squishy things like grapes.

I peeled all the fruit except the plums, making sure to cut away the pith of the orange and grapefruit with a sharp paring knife. Then I cut the pears and plums into wedges (I think is was quarter for the plums and eighths for the pears, but it all depends on the size of fruit you have) and the citrus fruits into crossways slices about 1cm thick.

Then I marinated them for a few hours in:

  • 3 Tablespoons brandy
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons dark Muscovado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinammon
  • 1/4 teaspoon mild chilli powder

I spread the marinated fruit on a baking tray and grilled it under a hot grill for 10 minutes. In the meantime, I beat 3 egg whites with 3 tablespoons of icing sugar to the soft peaks stage. I spooned the beaten eggwhites over the fruit and baked in a moderately hot (190C-200C) oven for another 15 minutes, until the meringue was golden brown on top but still soft underneath.

I served this straight away, and even though it wasn't very sweet (because of the grapefruit), it was a very satisfying end to a wintery evening meal. The chilli gives it an extra kick of warmth that was very welcome.

We did have some left over though; so the next morning I re-heated the remaining fruit (having discarded the now-soggy meringue topping) in the oven and bunged them over freshly made pancakes. Breakfast of champions, to quote my appreciative guest!

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