I have always been a fiend for meringue and pavlova. I love the crispy outer shell of meringue and the chewy bit in the centre. I also love whipped cream so you can imagine the lack of restraint I’ve shown in the past whenever pavlova was on the menu. My auntie Emer makes a wicked pavlova herself. This recipe comes from BBC Good Food and it is genuinely glorious. As I only had two egg whites to use up, following the Eggs Benedict, I halved the recipe, which would make 3 very large helpings, or 4 normal sized ones. To make the full recipe (serves 6), just double what you see below. Any fresh fruit will be great on a pavlova: kiwi, strawberry, raspberry, banana if you’re into that, pomegranate – anything colourful really. We had some mixed berries in the freezer so I stewed them with a little sugar, some lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of water to make a bit of a sauce.
Meringue is great if you have egg whites to use up but if you make this recipe off your own bat and have egg yolks to use up instead, you can make crème brulée or use some of the yolks in a really delicious carbonara sauce.
Pavlova2 egg whites 110g golden caster sugar ½ tsp cornflour ½ tsp white wine vinegar 125ml whipping cream Juice of ¼ lemon + one large slice of lemon rind (use a vegetable peeler) 175g fresh/frozen fruit
1. Heat the oven to 180C / 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment/baking paper.
2. Whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form stiff, shiny peaks. Gradually add the sugar, whisking thoroughly after each addition. When all of the sugar is used up, continue whisking for another 3-4 mins. The egg whites will begin to form a beautiful thick, glossy texture. Stiff peaks will form when the beaters are removed.
3. Add in the cornflour and vinegar and whisk until combined.
4. Gently spoon the mixture onto the parchment/baking paper. Using a spatula, work the mixture into a circle, approximately 20cm / 8″ in diameter, perhaps making a dip in the centre for the cream and fruit.
5. Place the baking sheet in the oven and then reduce the heat to 120C / 250F. Cook for 90minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the meringue to cool completely. It will keep if placed in an airtight container for a day or two.
6. For the fruit: put all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over a low-medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 mins, or until the fruit juices have reduced to a thick sauce. Add more sugar or lemon juice to taste. Allow to cool before serving.
7. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Spread the cream over the meringue then spoon the berries on top, drizzling with the sauce. Serving pavlova is never a clean job so don’t be worried if it all falls apart in the serving dish.