This compote is delicious by itself or with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or a spoonful of clotted cream, mascarpone, or crème fraîche, and always goes very well with dessert wines. But if you have a sweet tooth, try this version with the compote served in a meringue. Make the meringue the day before, remembering that the secret to wonderful meringues is that they cook, or rather dry out, very slowly and do not color at all in the oven.
Heat the oven to 225°F.
Whip the whites to soft peaks and, while continuing to whip, sprinkle in the sugar. Whip until glossy and stiff, about 5 minutes.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put the meringue in a pastry bag and make four 4-inch round bases and 2 layers of wall on the outer edge to form round baskets.
Place the sheet in the oven, turn off the heat, and leave overnight.
The next morning, the meringues should be firm. Remove them from the sheet and store in an airtight container.
Hit the coconut with a hammer to break it in pieces. Gouge out the white part of the coconut from the shell, discard the shell, and cut the brown skin off the white meat. Grate or grind the coconut meat in a food processor and stir the coconut and a pinch of salt into the custard. Warm slightly and let steep for 2 hours. Refrigerate until cold. Freeze in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s directions.
Peel the mango and slice in pieces lengthwise. Peel the papaya, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and slice it crosswise. Cut the passion fruit in half and scrape the pulp into a small bowl.
Simmer the sugar syrup in a sauté pan and add the papaya, mango, and lemon juice. When the syrup begins to boil again, add the passion fruit, butter, and a pinch of salt. Stir quickly but gently until the butter is melted.
Put the meringues on warm plates, spoon the compote into them, put a scoop of ice cream in the center, and spoon a little compote over the ice cream.
© 1986 Jeremiah Tower. All rights reserved.