• Giving a delicious new meaning to the phrase “organised mess”, this pretty pudding is a wonderful mashup of meringue, cream and fruit. Poached fig, plum and rose-water mess is full of flavour and looks effortlessly elegant. Perfect for entertaining or a high tea.

    Poached fig, plum and rose-water mess

    Serves: 4
    Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 mins


    • Meringues

    • 3 large egg whites
    • pinch of salt
    • 220g (1 cup) castor sugar
    • 10ml (2 tsp) cornflour
    • 10ml (2 tsp) white wine vinegar
    • Poached fruit

    • 1 litre water
    • 60ml (¼ cup) sugar
    • seeds from ¼ vanilla pod
    • 12 figs
    • 6 plums, halved
    • Filling

    • 310ml (1¼ cups) fresh cream
    • 170ml ( cup) castor sugar
    • 250ml (1 cup) Greek yoghurt
    • seeds of ¼ vanilla pod
    • a few drops of rose-water essence
    • pistachios, toasted, optional
    • fresh mint, to garnish



    Preheat the oven to 140°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly grease.


    For the meringues, whisk the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. Add the sugar in three batches while continually whisking until stiff, smooth and glossy. Lastly, whisk in the cornflour and vinegar.


    Loosely spread the mixture onto the baking tray to form a thick disc of meringue. It doesn’t have to be perfectly formed, as it will be broken up once cooked to assemble the rest of the dish. Bake for 60 minutes in the middle of the oven. After an hour, turn off the heat and leave the meringue in the oven to cool down.


    For the fruit, bring the water, sugar and vanilla to a simmer. Add the figs and gently poach until tender, about 8 – 10 minutes. Remove the figs and poach the plums in the same liquid.Remove the skin of the plums as soon as they are cooked.


    For the filling, whisk the cream and sugar until stiff. Fold in the yoghurt, vanilla and add a few drops of rose water to taste.


    To assemble the dish, loosely break up the meringue and add a layer to each of the four serving bowls. Slice the fruit into quarters and scatter the plums over the meringue. Add a few dollops of cream mixture on top and scatter with the figs. Scatter with a few pistachios, if desired, and garnish with the mint.