Drying time after baking: 8 hours or overnight.
1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
2. Preheat the oven to 80°C (175°F or ¼ gas mark) and place a rack in the lower third of the oven.
3. Make the pastry cream. In a bowl, mix the milk and cornstarch until well blended. In a saucepan over low heat, whisk together the egg yolks, condensed milk, miso, calamansi zest and ube extract. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens. Add the milk and cornstarch mixture and whisk until combined. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until the cream thickens and comes away from the pan when you stir it. Scrape the pan to incorporate thicker portions of pastry cream. Off the heat, add the butter and stir until combined. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Make stiff meringue peaks (see technical page 18) . Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until fluffy and opaque, a few minutes. Reduce speed to add sugar in increments. Reduce the speed to medium-high and whip the meringue and gloss until tripled in volume. When the beater is removed from the mixture, the peak will be tall, pointed and pointing up.
5. Add meringue ingredients. Use a flexible spatula to gently fold in and combine.
6. Place mounds of meringue on the prepared baking sheet, making eight equal circles about 7.5 cm (3 inches) in diameter each.
7. Add drops (or dots) of chilled pastry cream to each meringue. Using chopsticks (or a butter knife), dip into the meringue and swirl the custard, starting with a small O in the center and swirling outward. You want to end up with purple swirls covering the surface of the meringue, and that takes some practice and deft flicks of the wrist.
8. Cook for 4 hours. Turn off the oven. With the door ajar, dry the meringues in the oven for at least 8 hours or overnight. If the meringue seems too soft or rubbery, bake again for 30 minutes at 80°C (175°F or ¼ thermostat).
• Calamansi, also known as calamondin, is a small citrus fruit native to the Philippines. Calamansi is used to make cocktails, juices and sauces as it adds a lively and zesty kick of flavor. (Calamansi juice is available from specialty online retailers in Australia, but lemon or lime will also work well in this recipe.)
• Ube, a Filipino purple yam, is sweet and tastes like vanilla coconut. Ube is versatile and transformative as an ingredient as it turns food purple beautifully. For me, baking for a vibrant, eye-catching purple, I don’t hesitate to use ube extract. (Ube is available from specialist online retailers in Australia.)
Image and recipe of Modern Asian cooking at home by Kat Lieu, photography by Nicole Soper Photography (Quarry Books, RRP $32.99).