Banana, Passion Fruit and Cardamom Meringue Pie

For a Sunday lunch on a cold English day this hot pudding is a great reminder of warm sunshine. The exotic aroma of cardamom enhances both fruit and meringue in the most exquisite way. Serve with crème fraîche, cream or Greek-style yoghurt.

Ingredients

  • 2 limes
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 6 medium bananas
  • 25 g/1 oz butter
  • 75 g/3 oz light muscovado sugar
  • 4-5 wrinkled passion fruit
  • whites of 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 100 g/4 oz caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

Method

Squeeze the juice out of the limes and keep on one side. Extract the seeds from the cardamom pods and grind either with a pestle and mortar or in a coffee grinder. Peel the bananas, cut in half crossways and then cut each half in half again lengthways.

Melt the butter in a fairly large, deep frying pan over a medium heat, add half the ground cardamom and stir around for about 2 minutes. Now add the muscovado sugar and the lime juice and stir together thoroughly. Then lay the banana pieces in the mixture and cook fairly gently until the bananas are completely soft. Remove the pan from the heat and, using a slotted spatula, take the bananas from the sauce and lay them in a 23 cm/9 in earthenware or glass flan dish. Put the sauce back over a higher heat and bubble for a few minutes until it has thickened substantially. Remove from the heat.

Cut the passion fruit in half and, using a teaspoon, scrape out the insides evenly on to the bananas. Spoon the sugar, butter and lime sauce over them and leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Put the egg whites into a bowl with the salt and whisk until they hold fluffy peaks. Now whisk in 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar until the meringue is smooth, glossy and stands in peaks. Using a metal spoon, fold in the remaining caster sugar and the remaining ground cardamom. Spoon the meringue on top of the bananas and passion fruit and sprinkle a little extra caster sugar on top. Cook towards the top of the oven for about 20 minutes or until the meringue is tinged pale brown. Serve hot or warm.

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