Sunday, 10 April 2011

Summer fruit pavlova

Continuing with the summery recipes here is a perfect pudding for when you have guests over in the warmer months that is not too heavy but tastes delicious and can be prepared in advance which is always a huge plus for me!

I have adapted this recipe over about the last ten years- tweaking both the meringue and the toppings. I particularly like how I've adapted this recipe since it uses up all the eggs in the meringue and the topping. I rarely make it exactly the same each time- it depends on exact time of year, who is coming, what we are eating for the main etc. Below is the recipe I used this weekend for friends coming over for a veggie BBQ.

First pre-heat the oven to 140 degrees C and line a large baking tray.

In a spotlessly clean bowl put in the whites of 4 eggs.

Separate each egg separately into two cups- one for whites and one for yolks. Once you are happy that the white is clear of any yolk add it to the large bowl. If you do this with each egg then if one does break and you get yolk into the white then it is only one egg that is ruined (and can be used to make some scrambled eggs when you are done!) rather than the whole lot. It obviously doesn't matter if you accumulate the yolks in the same cup. You can then either freeze these to use at another time or you can use the yolks for the topping below. Whisk on high speed until they increase in volume and start to stiffen.

Add 110g caster sugar to the bowl slowly and continue whisking until you reach the "soft peak" stage (ie: as you pull out the whisk it holds in a peak).

At this point add 75g icing sugar, 1 tsp ground coffee and 1tsp cocoa powder and beat vigorously with a slotted spoon until the mix is all glossy. Spoon the mixture onto the baking tray into a circle about 28 inches in diametre. Make it vaguely flat so that topping will sit well on the top.

Bake it in the oven for about an hour and a half until it is slightly cracked on the top (try and avoid checking in the oven - just leave it be!) Once it is cooked turn off the oven and leave overnight to go completely cold.

For the topping you can just use 280ml double cream (or Elmlea Double Light which is a lot lighter in calories) whipped until it just holds.

If it is for adults you can add a few tablespoons of Baileys (or whatever spirit you fancy) and whisk this in and spoon it over the top and decorate. What I like to do is add some homemade lemon curd to the cream.

To make the curd put the four egg yolks in a heat proof bowl and whisk with the juice of two lemons.

In a separate bowl mix the zest of the two lemons together with 150g caster sugar and add this to the egg mix. Chop in 100g unsalted butter. Place the bowl over simmering water and whisk frequently for 20 minutes until it thickens.

Cover with clingfilm and leave to cool (it will continue to thicken).

Add as much of this as you like to the whipped double cream- this is about three quarters of the above mixture:

Blend it all together so the curd is incorporated in the cream.
Cover the base of the meringue with this topping - leave a rim at the edge of the meringue since when the fruit is put on the top the cream will spread slightly. Top with about 700g soft fruits of your choice- pomegranates, kiwi, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries etc... My eldest daughter loves this pudding over all others (and she claims to hate cream!) and her favrouite topping is strawberries and grapes so this is what I did this time- I also like the simplicity of the red and purple colour scheme.

Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. You can dust with cocoa powder or icing sugar if you wish. It also works well with a chocolate sauce if you want some extra naughtiness- simply heat equal amounts of cream and chocolate, allow to cool slightly and then allow your guests to pour over themselves. It lasts well overnight (though I'd be surprised if you ever have any left over...)

Til soon....


  1. It's definitely one of my staple puddings when I have guests since I know it always goes down a storm!